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March 2019


What research has been conducted on ways to increase collective teacher efficacy?


Following an established REL Southeast research protocol, we conducted a search for research on ways to increase collective teacher efficacy. We focused on identifying resources that specifically addressed ways to increase collective teacher efficacy. The sources included ERIC and other federally funded databases and organizations, research institutions, academic research databases, and general Internet search engines (For details, please see the methods section at the end of this memo.)

We have not evaluated the quality of references and the resources provided in this response. We offer them only for your reference. These references are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of relevance. Also, we searched the references in the response from the most commonly used resources of research, but they are not comprehensive and other relevant references and resources may exist.

Research References

  1. Berebitsky, D., & Salloum, S. J. (2017). The relationship between collective efficacy and teachers' social networks in urban middle schools. AERA, 3(4).
    From the abstract: "Collective efficacy, a group's belief in its capabilities to reach a goal, is an important organizational property repeatedly linked with student achievement. However, little scholarship specifies the antecedents of collective efficacy. To fill this gap, this study examines a potential predictor of collective efficacy: teachers' social networks. The authors employ social network and regression analysis to explore the relationship between network density, network centralization, and collective efficacy in 20 middle school mathematics departments in two large, urban districts across 3 years. Collective efficacy had a significant relationship with density, but not centralization, when controlling for school demographics. The findings underscore the importance of network density to school improvement reforms. Policymakers need to consider policies that support the building of a dense network, which could increase collective efficacy and, ultimately, student achievement."
  2. Calik, T., Sezgin, F., Kavgaci, H., & Cagatay Kilinc, A. (2012). Examination of relationships between instructional leadership of school principals and self-efficacy of teachers and collective teacher efficacy. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 12(4), 2498-2504.
    From the abstract: "The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between school principals' instructional leadership behaviors and self-efficacy of teachers and collective teacher efficacy. In this regard, a model based on hypotheses was designed to determine the relationships among variables. The study sample consisted of 328 classroom and branch teachers employed in primary schools in Ankara. Instructional Leadership Scale, Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale and Collective Efficacy Scale were used to gather data. Structural Equation Modeling was performed to test the model. Research findings indicated that the model fitted the data well with acceptable goodness of fit statistics. Consequently, instructional leadership had a significant direct and positive impact on collective teacher efficacy. Additionally, it was appeared that teachers' self-efficacy moderated the relationship between instructional leadership and collective teacher efficacy. Several suggestions were presented for improving teachers' self and collective efficacy."
  3. Goddard, R. D., Skrla, L., & Salloum, S. J. (2017). The role of collective efficacy in closing student achievement gaps: A mixed methods study of school leadership for excellence and equity. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 22(4) 220-236.
    From the abstract: "Previous research demonstrates that collective efficacy positively predicts students' academic achievement (e.g., Bandura, 1993; Goddard et al., 2000). However, unaddressed by the current literature is whether collective efficacy also works to reduce inequity by closing achievement gaps. To learn about the operation of collective efficacy, we designed a mixed-methods study, situated in the elementary and middle schools of one large urban district in Texas. Hierarchal linear modeling was employed to model the degree to which collective efficacy explained differences among schools in student mathematics achievement and the Black-White achievement gap. We also drew upon focus group data collected at 6 schools. We found that collective efficacy was associated with an increase in mathematics achievement as well a 50% reduction in the academic disadvantage experienced by Black students. Focus groups revealed the importance of school principals in supporting teacher collaboration and peer observation as well as a sustained focus on instructional improvement."
  4. Korte, D. S., & Simonsen, J. C. (2018). Influence of social support on teacher self-efficacy in novice agricultural education teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(3), 100-123.
    From the abstract: "Teacher self-efficacy impacts student achievement, job satisfaction, and teacher retention. Although the benefits of social support have been extensively studied in medicine and psychology, limited research has been completed in education to evaluate the ways in which social support contribute toward teacher self-efficacy. The purpose of this descriptive-relational study was to determine the influence of sources and types of support on teacher self-efficacy in novice agricultural education teachers. The target population was novice teachers of agriculture from Illinois (n = 192) and Indiana (n = 104). Teachers' perceptions of support from three non-school sources and six school sources of support within three social support constructs were used to predict the contribution of social support on teacher self-efficacy. Novice agricultural education teachers' perceptions of support from school sources -- predominantly students and community -- explained 27.1% of the variance in teacher self-efficacy. The results from this study imply the support (i.e., verbal or social persuasion) novice agricultural education teachers perceive from students and community are the most significant predictors of teacher self-efficacy. These findings advocate the need for novice teachers of agriculture to develop quality relationships with students and community members to increase teacher self-efficacy, thus potentially improving teacher retention."
  5. Kunnari, I., Ilomäki, L., & Toom, A. (2018). Successful teacher teams in change: The role of collective efficacy and resilience. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(1), 111-126.
    From the abstract: "Teachers' competence in launching and managing pedagogical change collaboratively is crucial for the continuous development of their work as well as for meaningful student learning. However, research on how teachers can thrive in their profession in the changing higher education environment is limited. This study investigated the experiences of teachers in managing pedagogical innovation when working as a team and implementing integrated competence-based learning modules. Strength-focused concepts like collective efficacy and resilience were used to extend the understanding of the phenomenon. Five teacher teams were analyzed in relation to the change itself, as well as to protective and risk factors that had an impact on teachers' collective efficacy and resilience to the change. The data consisted of group interviews and individual questionnaires collected during the process. The findings indicate that stronger collaboration creates significant changes in teachers' work and students' learning, and success is based on teacher teams' capacity to craft their common work practices."
  6. Ninkovic, S. R., Kneževic F., & Olivera C. (2018). Transformational school leadership and teacher self-efficacy as predictors of perceived collective teacher efficacy. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(1), 49-64.
    From the abstract: "Although scholars have acknowledged the role of collaborative relationships of teachers in improving the quality of instruction, teacher collective efficacy continues to be a neglected construct in educational research. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relations between transformational school leadership, teacher self-efficacy and perceived collective teacher efficacy, using a sample of 120 permanent secondary-school teachers in Serbia, whose average age was 42.5. The results of the hierarchical regression analysis showed that transformational school leadership and teacher self-efficacy were independent predictors of teacher collective efficacy. The research findings also showed that individually-focused transformational leadership contributed significantly to an explanation of collective efficiency after controlling specific predictor effects of group-focused dimensions of transformational leadership. It is argued that the results have a double meaning. First, this study expanded the understanding of the relationship between different dimensions of transformational school leadership and collective teacher efficacy. Second, a contribution of teacher self-efficacy to collective efficacy beliefs was established, confirming the assumptions of social cognitive theory on reciprocal causality between two types of perceived efficacy: individual and collective."
  7. Prelli, G. E. ( 2016). How school leaders might promote higher levels of collective teacher efficacy at the level of school and team. English Language Teaching, 9(3), 174-180.
    From the abstract: "Leaders search for effective leadership practices to ensure success. A quantitative study was conducted to determine what behaviors a leader could use to improve collective teacher efficacy at the level of the entire faculty and at the level of grade level teams. This article focuses on using the inverse relationship between transformational leadership and collective teacher efficacy to strengthen efficacy of teachers of English Language Learners. The Collective Efficacy Scale (Goddard, 2001) was modified to measure the perceptions of teachers at both levels; entire faculty's collective efficacy and the collective efficacy of their team. Thus, this article also provides leaders with important information regarding teaming within schools. The significant difference found between collective teacher efficacy at the level of school and team, provides important information for leaders to consider as they support professional learning teams. Success for all would be promoted as leaders increase efficacy within teams by employing the concepts of developing leadership teams and purposeful learning communities (Hill & Lundquist, 2008)."
  8. Voelkel, R. H. Jr. & Chrispeels, J. H. (2017). Understanding the link between professional learning communities and teacher collective efficacy. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28(4), 505-526.
    From the abstract: "Research suggests effective professional learning communities (PLCs) enhance teacher collaboration and student achievement. Some studies indicate that these communities also predict greater collective efficacy, while others suggest teacher efficacy is predictive of teachers working together. Although studies have identified effective, research-based PLC practices, how these specific practices effect collective efficacy has not been thoroughly studied. This study, using structural equation modeling (SEM), investigated the relationship between PLCs and teachers' collective efficacy drawing on 310 surveys from 16 schools in 1 district that had systematically implemented PLCs. Our findings showed that higher functioning PLCs predict higher levels of teacher collective efficacy (TCE). This suggests that engaging and supporting teachers in PLC work, as this district did, can lead to enhanced collective efficacy, which in turn can contribute to improved student achievement."


Keywords and Search Strings
The following keywords and search strings were used to search the reference databases and other sources:

  • Methods to increase collective teacher efficacy
  • Ways to improve collective teacher efficacy

Databases and Resources
We searched ERIC for relevant resources. ERIC is a free online library of over 1.6 million citations of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences. Additionally, we searched Google Scholar and PsychInfo.

Reference Search and Selection Criteria

When we were searching and reviewing resources, we considered the following criteria:

  • Date of the publication: References and resources published for last 15 years, from 2003 to present, were include in the search and review.
  • Search Priorities of Reference Sources: Search priority is given to study reports, briefs, and other documents that are published and/or reviewed by IES and other federal or federally funded organizations, academic databases, including ERIC, EBSCO databases, JSTOR database, PsychInfo, PsychArticle, and Google Scholar.
  • Methodology: Following methodological priorities/considerations were given in the review and selection of the references: (a) study types - randomized control trials,, quasi experiments, surveys, descriptive data analyses, literature reviews, policy briefs, etc., generally in this order (b) target population, samples (representativeness of the target population, sample size, volunteered or randomly selected, etc.), study duration, etc. (c) limitations, generalizability of the findings and conclusions, etc.

This memorandum is one in a series of quick-turnaround responses to specific questions posed by educational stakeholders in the Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina), which is served by the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast at Florida State University. This memorandum was prepared by REL Southeast under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0011, administered by Florida State University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.