What Makes Teacher Collaboration Work?
Curriculum & Instruction

(Albert Shanker Institute, December 8, 2015) — In a recent article from the Albert Shanker Institute, authors Davis Sherer and Johanna Barmore explore effective collaboration, citing educational research looking into conditions that foster collaboration. Empirical research suggests that student achievement is positively impacted by teacher collaboration that leads to teacher learning.

They attempt to answer the question, What makes collaboration work? Two points brought up are 1) collaboration focused on assessments was more highly associated with student achievement compared to other topics of collaboration (e.g. students or instruction) and 2) the effects of collaboration may vary depending on the instructional skills of participating teachers. The article cites a report on 10 years of research on effective teams.

The report proposes a definition of “teams” advanced by Kozlowski and Bell (2003: 334): collectives who exist to perform organizationally relevant tasks, share one or more common goals, interact socially, exhibit task interdependencies, maintain and manage boundaries, and are embedded in an organizational context that sets boundaries, constrains the team, and influences exchanges with other units in the broader entity.”

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