Collective efficacy and teacher leadership, two constructs central to school reform, were examined in this quantitative study of three school districts. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between teacher perceptions of the extent of teacher leadership and the extent of collective efficacy. Research was guided by the following questions: Do teachers who perceive a strong sense of collective efficacy also perceive a greater extent of teacher leadership in their schools? Are there differences in perceptions of collective efficacy and the factors of teacher leadership, specifically, sharing expertise, shared leadership, supra-practitioner, and principal selection?
Data were collected utilizing two instruments, the Teacher Leadership Inventory (TLI) (Angelle and DeHart, 2010) and the Teacher Efficacy Belief Scale – Collective Form (Olivier, 2001). Descriptive statistics and ANOVA were run to examine mean differences by district in teacher collective efficacy and the extent of teacher leadership in the school (n=363). In addition, ANOVA were run to examine district differences in the four factors on the TLI. A one-way ANOVA contrasted the overall collective efficacy mean scores of Districts A, B, and C. Demographic data were also collected from participants.
Findings indicate a clear and strong relationship between collective efficacy and teacher leadership. District B was markedly stronger in teacher leadership and collective efficacy than the other two districts. The highest percentage of participants indicating they have a leadership role were from District B. Findings from this study also indicate that teachers perceive the informal aspects of teacher leadership as a greater indicator of collective efficacy. District B, which reported significantly higher collective efficacy than did District A or C, also reported a significantly lower extent of principal selected teacher leadership. Formal roles such as department heads and grade level chairs were not perceived as extensive indicators of teacher leadership as were teacher roles in collaboration or extra role behaviours.
This study took place in three small districts in a southeastern US state. Generalizability to larger school districts should be approached with caution. This study may be limited in that teacher leaders may have a greater tendency to complete a survey on teacher leadership than teachers who do not take on leadership roles.
This study provides support for developing shared leadership which can impact the collective beliefs of the faculty in a positive manner. Results from this study affirms those leaders who believe in the power of professional learning communities, shared decision making, and other indicators of teacher leadership. Success of teacher leaders depends, in large part, on the principal's philosophy of power sharing in the context in which they work. Teachers can be given the power to lead but they must also be willing to accept the roles this power brings.
While several studies have been conducted on collective efficacy in schools, most of these studies have been quantitative. Studies of teacher leadership have tended to focus on the formal roles of teacher leaders with a qualitative. Using quantitative methodology for collective efficacy and teacher leadership, this study approaches teacher leadership from an organizational perspective, examining the extent to which both informal and formal, or principal selected, teacher leadership exists across the school. The authors also argue that teacher leadership is a construct greater than administrative roles assigned to teachers but also includes informal leadership, primarily through their influence on organizational effectiveness.
Angelle, P. and M. Teague, G. (2014), "Teacher leadership and collective efficacy: teacher perceptions in three US school districts", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 52 No. 6, pp. 738-753. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-02-2013-0020Download as .RIS
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