Effective teacher collaboration

A new article in the Educational Research Review presents a systematic review on teacher collaboration, with 82 studies meeting the authors’ inclusion criteria.

The authors found that such collaboration appeared to hold most benefits for the teachers themselves, including increased motivation and morale, increased communication, and decreased workload. However, the review also identified possible negatives for them, including competitiveness, a loss of autonomy, an increased workload, and a push towards conformity with the majority.

Pupils were found to benefit from improved understanding and performance, with teaching strategies becoming more pupil-centred. Organisational level benefits included a positive influence on the perception that the school climate is supportive of innovation, improved adaptation and innovation, a cultural shift to more equity, a school-wide attention for needs of pupils, a flattened power structure, and the fostering of a professional culture of intellectual enquiry.

The review found that successful collaboration required a number of factors, including realising task interdependence, developing clear roles for the members, and a defined focus for collaboration. Structural support was also required, for example providing meeting time.

Source: Teacher Collaboration: A Systematic Review (2015), Educational Research Review, 15.

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