Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Fostering teacher efficacy in schools is the job of school leaders

Fostering teacher efficacy in schools is the job of school leaders.
Peter Dewitt

Peter Dewittauthor of Collaborative Leadership, Six Influences that Matter Most, states that fostering teacher efficacy in schools is the job of school leaders. According to  psychologist, Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is one's belief in his/her ability to succeed in challenging situations or accomplishing a task. Furthermore, Dewitt shares that focusing on teacher efficacy in turn leads to teachers encouraging more efficacy in their students.

Why is efficacy important? A person’s sense of self-efficacy plays a part in how one approaches challenges, change, goals, and tasks. Teacher self-efficacy has a .63 effect size and teacher collective efficacy has an effect size of 1.57, well beyond the .40 effect size that equates to one year of student growth with one year of input, according to John Hattie, author of Visible Learning.

Hattie describes teacher self-efficacy as “The confidence or strength of belief that we have in ourselves that we can make our learning happen.” Dewitt shared in a June 19, 2017 presentation that “Collective teacher efficacy refers to the collective self-perception that teachers in a given school make an educational difference to their students over and above the educational impact of their homes and communities.” He also warned that “Teachers with low teaching efficacy don’t feel that teachers, in general, can make much of a difference in the lives of students, while teachers with low personal teaching efficacy don’t feel that they, personally, affect the lives of the students (Ashton & Webb, 1986).

Dewitt  challenges educators to think about collaborative leadership as including  the purposeful actions  leaders take to enhance the instruction of teachers and  build deep relationships with all stakeholders through understanding self-efficacy and building collective efficacy  to deepen our learning together.

How are school leaders fostering  teacher efficacy? Moving into the fourth year of teacher leadership, school leaders continue to leverage teacher leaders in their pursuit of improvement. School leaders and teacher leaders may want to consider how school improvement efforts are contributing to teacher self and collective efficacy.

Please contact Jaymie Randel, jrandel@plaea.org for a collaborative conversation regarding self and collective teacher efficacy.

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