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State Support Team, Region 16

What's All the Fuss About Collective Teacher Efficacy?

Nancy Ruth - 10/30/2018 10:42:00 PM

In the most recent update of John Hattie’s research, he has found that Collective Teacher Efficacy has the greatest potential for influencing student growth, as compared to all of the other Influences on his list.   Indeed, with an Effect Size of 1.57, it is nearly 4 times the effect size which represents one year’s growth (0.4)!    It’s twice the effect of Feedback (0.72) and three times the effect of Positive Family Dynamics (0.52).   So, if it’s this powerful, it makes sense that we should understand in more detail what’s involved in effectively putting this influence into practice in our schools.

Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE) was actually first introduced in the 1990’s by Albert Bandura.  Additional findings by other researchers led educators to realize that CTE encourages teachers to make more effective use of their own skills and thus influence the learning levels of their students.

So, what exactly IS CTE?   Collective Teacher Efficacy is the collective belief of a group of teachers that they are capable of positively affecting student learning.  Sounds a little simplistic, right?   Of course, it’s actually more complex than this definition sounds.

CTE is NOT about making teachers feel good about themselves – it IS about teachers believing in their own abilities.   Teachers must be good planners, be willing to collaborate with other teachers, using evidence to understand the impact their teaching is having on their students' learning, and be willing to look at their own limitations as a chance to grow professionally. 

Teachers who are willing to try new methods and find ways to move forward in difficult situations are generally more confident of their abilities and will continue to look for other strategies to help every learner.  Teachers with these qualities have the ability to make a real difference in their students’ learning.

Administrators also are key to creating a climate of Collective Teacher Efficacy in a school.  Administrators who empower teachers to have a voice in important decisions and to lead groups of teachers in studying common building concerns help promote the confidence level of their staff to positively affect learning.  Administrators who provide praise for excellence and positive work being done with students, making teachers feel valued, will build a more powerful relationship with their staff, which in turn will build a more positive climate.  Administrators who are actively engaged in positive listening and coaching for teacher concerns and requests for feedback will also build teacher confidence and promote a trusting environment with their teachers. 

All of these factors will contribute to building schools known for Collective Teacher Efficacy: Schools which have climates that support Teachers who feel valued and confident, naturally collaborating with one another using evidence to find ways to improve their skills for greater impact on student learning.


For further discussion of this topic, you may wish to read:  

“Building Collective Efficacy:  How Leaders Inspire Teachers to Achieve”:




R.Harrelson on 11/6/2018 1:34:04 PM

Great blog post Nancy. It is critical to highlight the importance of conditions over initiatives.