How Educators' Beliefs Impact Student Learning
- Jenni Donohoo - Education Consultant
A Joint Publication with Learning Forward and Ontario Principals’ Council
Designing & Evaluating Staff Development | Staff Leadership | Team Building
Improve student outcomes with collective teacher efficacy.
Is your school climate promoting meaningful change? Recent research suggests that Collective Efficacy (CE) is the number one factor influencing student achievement.
CE—the belief that, through collective actions, educators can influence student outcomes and improve student learning—is changing the educational ecosystem. A faculty with high Collective Efficacy show greater effort and persistence, willingness to try new teaching approaches, and attend more closely to struggling students’ needs. This book presents practical strategies and tools for increasing student achievement by sharing:
- Rationale and sources for establishing CE
- Conditions and leadership practices for CE to flourish
- Professional learning structures/protocols that promote CE
If educators’ realities are filtered through the belief that they can do very little to influence student achievement, then it is likely these beliefs will manifest in their practice. Help teachers develop mastery and CE by employing these key strategies.
“Acclaimed staff developer and experienced educational consultant Jennifer Donohoo puts the sword to the mistaken idea that the best way to improve teaching is by evaluating individuals. Donohoo takes an old idea—collective efficacy—strengthens it with a rigorous research base, and brings it alive through her countless observations of teachers' practice.
Collective Efficacy is about the overwhelming power that teachers have to improve student learning and achievement when they work together, explore every avenue open to them, and persist relentlessly once they have found the best ways forward. This book will turn many people's assumptions about how best to improve student achievement on their head. Probably one of the very best education books of the year.”
Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education
"We knew that collective efficacy mattered, but Donohoo, in this easy to read, research based book makes it abundantly clear that schools need to focus on working together and believing in each other's ability to make a difference. Donohoo combines a synthesis of the research around collective efficacy with practical strategies and tools for how to create the right conditions for this skill set to flourish in schools."
"In Collaborative Inquiry for Educators: A Facilitator's Guide to School Improvement (2013), Donohoo Described what collaborative inquiry is and how to do it. In The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry: Realizing Change in Schools and Classrooms (2016), Donohoo and Velasco explained how collaborative inquiry can bring change to individuals and systems. Now in her new book, Collective Efficacy: How Educators' Beliefs Impact Student Learning, she shares the personal impact collaborative inquiry can have on teaching collectively and individually.
In a time when educators are under increased scrutiny and criticism, Donohoo builds a case using research and experiences as the foundation of how collaborative inquiry can improve the disposition and practice of teachers. Sprinkled with thought-provoking questions throughout the book, Donohoo encourages teachers and leaders to reflect on their practice to determine their own path to build a personal philosophy and collective belief set that all children can succeed."
"Collective efficacy beliefs can be inferred from the conversations we have in schools. If we do not provoke such conversations, question assumptions and consider new possibilities, we remain in a stuck state. Jenni’s work is both timely and important. It interrogates the concept of collective teacher efficacy, providing a clarity and understanding that feeds into a framework that will change those conversations, ensuring school movement and a culture of shared and high expectations."
"Acclaimed staff developer and experienced educational consultant Jennifer Donohoo puts the sword to the mistaken idea that the best way to improve teaching is by evaluating individuals. Donohoo takes an old idea - collective efficacy - strengthens it with a rigorous research base, and brings it alive through her countless observations of teachers' practice.
Collective Efficacy is about the overwhelming power that teachers have to improve student learning and achievement when they work together, explore every avenue open to them, and persist relentlessly once they have found the best ways forward. This book will turn many people's assumptions about how best to improve student achievement on their head. Probably one of the very best education books of the year."
"Jenni Donohoo has written a timely, compelling and wonderfully practical book, which will help leaders develop a stronger sense of collective efficacy in their schools. As Donohoo points out so clearly, what ‘we’, as a collective believe we can achieve together makes a significant difference. Our beliefs impact our actions which in turn impact our collective sense of competence, confidence and responsibility as professionals. Our actions can also change our beliefs through the work we do together. Collective Efficacy offers many strategies including the use of protocols for leaders that can be used to nurture school cultures where collective efficacy through impactful collaboration can take root, grow and thrive. While what we do as individual educators in our classrooms will always be important, what we can accomplish as a collaborative collective of professionals can change learning and growth trajectories for a whole school community."
"A powerful guide for leaders wanting to unleash the impact of teachers! Donohoo masterfully bridges the theory- practice divide providing compelling evidence of why and how educators’ beliefs impact student learning and the results when teachers build their collective efficacy. The blend of practical strategies and a compelling 4 stage collaborative leadership inquiry model make this a must read for every education leader."
"Collective Efficacy has been a rather elusive topic ever since Professor John Hattie indicated that this subject would top his list of 150 influences in his Visible Learning research. Dr. Jenni Donohoo has seized the opportunity to take this work deeper and has, for me at least, provided the first really clear and comprehensive analysis of what efficacy is all about.
This book is a thorough examination of the subject of efficacy in all its forms dating back to the work of Albert Bandura who really first made mention of this notion. Jenni has worked hard to uncover the extensive research base for the subject of efficacy and makes a sound case for the impact of collective efficacy in schools and organizations.
Dr. Donohoo’s previous work on Collaborative Inquiry is enhanced by this her most recent examination of the collaborative process which is her current passion and the focus of much of her writing and presenting.
What adds great value apart from the extensive research base to support this notion of efficacy is the manner in which she makes this work come alive with suggestions for practical application. While there is lots of theoretical background Dr. Donohoo has taken time to make it applicable and practical for collaborative teams with robust appendices filled with useful protocols teams can apply immediately.
This is a very helpful and valuable resource for any school leader and any group who see themselves working in a collaborative, team environment."
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1 - Collective Teacher Efficacy