Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Collective Efficacy Book Study- Chapter 5

This week, we are concluding our book study with a face-to-face meeting and celebration of our work!

Chapter 5
Leaders Utilize a Collaborative Inquiry Framework to Organize Actions

Chapter Summary

“Leaders should be doing, and should be seen doing, that which they expect or require others to do” (p. 76)

Chapter 5 outlines a collaborative leadership inquiry four-stage model of plan, act, observe, asses. The chapter delves into each of the four components using a lens of leadership to share some best practices, tools and ideas around how this model might be best facilitated in order to enhance collective efficacy within a school.


Q1- Based on the information in this chapter as well as your own professional experience, how might you go about determining a meaningful focus for leadership inquiry?

Q2- What coaching, mentoring and facilitation skills might support you in your leadership work related to the topics in this book?

Q3- What is your biggest takeaway from this book?

Q4- What is the one thing that you might commit to doing differently as a result of reading this book?

Q5- As you reflect on the format of this book study, what worked well for you? What did not work well? What suggestions do you have for future book study formats and content?

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Collective Efficacy Book Study- Chapter 4

This week, our group has chosen a collaborative Google Slides format for our book study conversation. Instructions for this format are as follows.
  • Link to Chapter 4 Book Study via Google Slides
  • Participants should visit the Google slide deck between Nov. 22-28th, read the questions and use a blank slide to share your responses 
  • Feel free to add slides and comment on each other’s ideas. 
  • We encourage you to use words or even pictures...be creative!
  • Be sure to check back through the week to see what others have posted and reply to their posts.
  • SCDSB staff will have access to the link. Non-SCDSB staff who would like to participate can comment on this post and provide their email address to be added.
Chapter 4
Enhancing Collective Efficacy Through Professional Protocols 

Chapter Summary

“When educators engage in continuous learning, student learning is improved” (p. 51). Research has identified seven characteristics of professional learning. 

Effective professional learning is...

  • Ongoing 
  • Reinforces meaningful collaboration
  • Grounded in educator practice
  • Involves reflection based on evidence of student outcomes
  • Increases teacher influence
  • Builds capacity for leadership
  • Taps into sources of efficacy

This chapter also outlines several learning structures that enhance collective efficacy. These include:
  • Teacher networks
  • Collaborative teacher inquiry
  • Peer coaching through a cycle of co-planning, co-teaching, co-analysis and co-reflection

Lastly, several efficacy enhancing protocols are outlined as guidelines to help focus and deepen conversations.


Q1- Reflecting upon your current work environment, how might you apply one of the efficacy enhancing protocols discussed in this chapter to foster greater collective efficacy within a team that you currently working with?

Q2- Donohoo focuses her discussion on teacher professional learning . How can this knowledge be provided to professional learning for administrators? What are some of the learning structures that have worked for you OR what are some learning structures that you would like to see?

Q3- “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” What are some of your “failed” learning experiences that you have organized or led as an administrator or leader? Why do you feel they failed? What did you try afterwards or what might you do next time?

Q4- In the book, we read that leaders of professional learning must capitalize on social persuasion as well as teachers’ emotional reactions to tasks. As a leader, how can you apply this to the learning in your school?

Q5- What has been the most powerful professional learning experience in your career in education? What were the conditions that made this experience so impactful?

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Collective Efficacy Book Study- Chapter 3

This week, our group has chosen a Twitter chat format for our book study conversation. Instructions for this format are as follows:
  • If you do not have one already, create a twitter account
  • Follow @A_J_Golding and @jmerkleyjoanne
  • Log in on Thursday November 15th at 4:30
  • Alison will be posting the questions, watch her feed. A new question will be posted approximately every 10 minutes
  • Questions will be posted as Q1 (Question 1), Q2 (Question 2) etc. 
  • To keep it easy to follow, participants should reply by starting their post with A1 (Answer 1, corresponding with Question 1) etc. 
  • Use the hashtag #scdsbCE with every post you make. This way, you can click on the hashtag, then click on “latest” at the top of the feed so you can view all of your colleagues posts and replies in order. 
  • Feel free to respond to each others’ posts as well as to the questions by using the “reply feature” but make sure you still use the #scdsbCE hashtag
Chapter 3- Fostering Collective Teacher Efficacy

Chapter Summary

“Fostering collective teacher efficacy to realize increased student achievement involves creating opportunities for meaningful collaboration, empowering teachers, establishing goals and high expectations, and helping educators interpret results and provide feedback.” (p. 35) 

In this chapter, six enabling conditions for fostering collective teacher efficacy are shared. These include:
  • Advanced teachers influence
  • Goal consensus
  • Teachers’ knowledge about one another’s work
  • Cohesive staff 
  • Responsiveness of leadership 
  • Effective systems of intervention

Q1- One of the enabling conditions for fostering collective teacher efficacy is when teachers have opportunities to learn about each other’s’ work. What opportunities can school leaders create for their teachers to learn collaboratively? 

Q2- Leaders can support the conditions for efficacy by developing a culture where teachers each have a role in achieving a shared purpose as part of a larger team. How might leaders increase this sense of interdependence between teachers? 

Q3- Responsiveness calls for leaders to address situations that prevent the team from carrying out their duties effectively. How might school leaders respond to these situations in ways in which the team feels supported? 

Q4- When teachers feel empowered as part of a decision making process, they become more invested, believe in their ability to successfully carry out those decisions and collective efficacy increases. How can school leaders create a culture where teachers are involved in decision making?

Q5- What are some ways that leaders can provide feedback and create opportunities for peer feedback and self-reflection with school teams about their impact on student learning in order to set direction and next steps?

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Collective Efficacy Book Study- Chapter 2

This week, our group has chosen a blog format for our book study conversation. Instructions for this format are as follows:

Visit this post anytime between November 8th and November 14th. Use the “comment” feature at the bottom of the page by clicking where it shows the number of comments in orange (see picture below). This will allow you to make a comment. Use this feature to answer the posted questions. Be sure to check back through the week to see what others have posted and reply to their posts.

Although this is the only week we will be using the blog to conduct our study, questions will be posted on the blog every week for reference.

Chapter 2- Consequences of Collective Teacher Efficacy

Chapter Summary

“When a sense of collective efficacy is present, staffs maintain a school environments in which students feel good about themselves. They also engage in more productive behaviours that support positive student outcomes.” (p. 13)

Positive consequences of collective teacher efficacy discussed in this chapter include:
  • Putting forth greater effort and persistence, especially aimed toward students experiencing difficulty 
  • Trying new teaching approaches based on effective pedagogy
  • Conveying high expectations to students 
  • Fostering learner autonomy (student-centered teaching) 
  • Decreasing disruptive behaviour
  • Increased commitment 
  • Enhanced parent involvement 


Q1- “When teachers expect their students to perform at high levels, they do” (p. 15). How can school leaders help cultivate the belief that students in their school can meet high expectations?

-Q2- “When efficacy is high, teachers are more accepting of change and more likely to try new teaching approaches” (p. 15).  What are some actions taken by school leaders that you think would create these conditions conditions?

Q3- “Student centred classrooms move the focus from teaching to learning” (p. 21).. How can school leaders help create the conditions where students have responsibility in some of the decisions made regarding their learning and the implementation of those decisions?

Q4- Learner autonomy, where teachers share responsibility for solving classroom problems with their students, is said to go hand in hand with a sense of intrinsic motivation.  Along with teachers fostering this condition in their classrooms, school leaders can also facilitate opportunities for shared problem solving with their students and staff. What are some ways that school leaders might do this?

Q5- How can school leaders invite parental involvement, paying particular attention to parents from marginalized populations or those who may be less comfortable interacting in a school setting?