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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

The Importance of Teacher Collaboration

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


August 03, 2015

In the work of Adaptive Schools, teacher collaboration is a central theme that has been shown to promote student achievement. New research has been released this summer, further reinforcing the need to develop collaboration among teachers. University of Michigan professor, Matthew Ronfeldt, headed a team of researchers studying teachers in Miami-Dade County. 90% of the 9000 surveyed teachers reported collaboration to be useful in improvements in student achievement. Rondfeldt states, “Growing research evidence suggests that a teacher’s quality is not fixed and depends a great deal upon a school’s working environment and climate, and the quality of colleagues around her.” Teachers are more likely to improve in environments of high quality collaboration. Ronfeldt’s findings showed that teachers and students benefitted from collaboration in the areas of instructional strategies and curriculum, instructional approaches to groups or individuals, and approaches to assessment.

In Adaptive Schools, participants learn skills for collaboration. Schools must also structure for collaboration.

Given this research, how are the norms of collaboration and dialogue and discussion supporting collaboration in your schools?

What are some ways the system supports teacher collaboration in its structures, e.g., scheduling, PLCs, team structures?

How might greater attention be given to collaboration as a means to an end?

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