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Encouraging Teacher Collaboration for School Improvement

Statistics from schools across the country clearly show the benefits of teacher collaboration. Not only does it foster a sense of community among teachers, it also encourages critical review of instruction and classroom management. One of the most important benefits, however, is that teacher collaboration leads to overall school improvement.

In an online Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies program, students learn different methods of teacher collaboration. Through coursework and hands-on experience, students analyze the professional benefits of teacher collaboration, as well as the academic benefits for their students.

Teacher Collaboration Encourages Idea Sharing

Teachers are truly experts in classroom design and instruction. However, research shows that even experienced teachers overwhelmingly benefit from sharing ideas. Teachers can discuss various strategies, offering examples from their own experience. When schools allow teachers the time to collaborate and share ideas — be it classroom management practices or best modifications for special needs students — teachers contribute to each other’s bank of best practices. This increases a teacher’s contribution to overall school improvement.

Teachers Build Lesson Plans That Work

In some schools, teachers meet in groups to discuss and edit lesson plans. This gives educators an opportunity to share successes and challenges with one another in a safe and supportive environment. Teachers can study lessons together and make changes based on the experiences of the group members; teachers then test the newly adapted lesson with their students and report back to the group with the results. This creates a reflective process of building and evaluating lessons. For example, if teachers find that process questions overwhelm students, the group can modify the activity instructions, ensuring that the students can focus on the subject matter itself.

Teacher Collaboration Contributes to Higher Student Achievement

When teachers get the time to collaborate, students directly benefit. Increasing their effectiveness and resource knowledge is a straightforward way teachers can increase their students’ chances for academic success. For example, when teachers carefully scrutinize lesson plans, students benefit from the experience of several experts, which creates dynamic, engaging lessons. When teachers thrive, so do students.

In an online master’s degree in education program, candidates collaborate together and learn effective models of teacher collaboration practiced in schools across the country. Research shows that teacher collaboration is not only useful in creating a community of teachers, it is also an important form of school improvement. When schools allow teachers the time to collaborate, they are investing in peer-to-peer professional development.

Learn more about the UT Arlington M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies online program.


Sources:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-collaboration-strategies-ben-johnson

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/09/16/give-teachers-time-to-collaborate.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news2


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