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Collective Efficacy, Social Context, Teacher's Work, and Student Achievement: A Mixed-Method Study.

By Serena J. Salloum

Abstract

Collective efficacy – a group’s belief in its capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to reach a goal – is understood to be an important organizational property because it facilitates attainment. Social cognitive theory has been leveraged in many quantitative studies illustrating that teachers’ collective efficacy has a strong relationship to student achievement. The purpose of this mixed method study was to (1) confirm that collective efficacy was to related to 4th grade students’ odds of passing state standardized assessments in reading and mathematics across an entire state, and (2) learn how collective efficacy operates to impact student achievement. Employing data drawn from a stratified random sample of schools in a large state, Hierarchal Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM) results demonstrate that for every standard deviation increase in collective efficacy, a student’s individual odds of passing a state assessment increased by 35% and 42% in mathematics and reading respectively. In an effort to understand the relationship between collective efficacy and student achievement, two high poverty schools in the same district from the quantitative sample were selected for case study – Barcliff and Meadows. Schools were differentiated by levels of collective efficacy and student performance. Through analysis of teacher interviews, focus groups, and classroom observations, several key differences emerged. Importantly, Barcliff teachers described their students as full of potential compared to the greater degree of deficit thinking that was apparent at Meadows. These belief systems seemed to be related to the nature of the professional learning community (PLC) in each building as established by the principal. The Barcliff principal was an instructional leader; as such the intention of their PLC was to improve teacher learning in order to enhance student learning. In contrast, Meadows principal’s leadership around instruction was incidental and the PLC was thought of as a structure without an explicit focus on teachers’ learning to bolster student learning. This study illustrates that the degree to which schools were organized to support teachers’ work contributed to their levels of collective efficacy; in other words, collective efficacy and PLCs were mutually supportive with both contributing to student achievement levels

Topics: Collective Efficacy, School Culture, Educational Administration, Mixed-methods
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:deepblue.lib.umich.edu:2027.42/89792

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