Research: Collaboration Is Key for Teacher Quality
Teachers get better when they work together. That's
conclusion of a massive study on how teachers collaborate with one
another and why
they do it.
of Michigan and Vanderbilt
led by Assistant Professor Matthew Ronfeldt of Michigan, looked at data
and surveyed 9,000 teachers at 336 schools in the Miami-Dade
School System, one of the largest school districts in the United
Almost 90 percent of the teachers
surveyed said that the
collaboration they find in working as instructional teams was helpful in
improving student learning, according to the survey's conclusions.
"Growing research evidence suggests that a teacher's
is not fixed and depends a great deal upon a school's working
climate, and the quality of colleagues around her," said Ronfeldt.
Teachers were asked to evaluate the impact of
certain components of their professional work: assessments, instruction
While the majority of teachers said across-the-board
collaboration in all facets of their work was most helpful, they also
collaboration had the greatest impact in dealing with assessments.
"These results have important implications for school
looking for ways to boost student outcomes," said Vanderbilt Associate
Professor Jason Grissom. "Focusing on building teacher teams and
meaningful ways for teachers to work together on the tough challenges
encounter can lead to substantively important achievement gains."
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.