Date of Award

2000

Level of Access

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Education

Advisor

Gordon A. Donaldson

Second Committee Member

David Brown

Third Committee Member

Phillip Pratt

Abstract

School reformers contend that a collaborative climate is conducive to effective schools. Collective efficacy is logically connected to collaborative climate and has the potential to enhance understanding of the psychosocial aspects of schools as organizations. This study's purpose was to examine the relationships among teacher efficacy, collective efficacy, and collaborative climate and to determine how, if at all, these three indicators of teacher and school effectiveness were statistically linked. I The study involved surveying 21 high schools. Teachers (n = 384) responded to a 40-item instrument consisting of variables related to their individual and collective efficacy, sense of collegiality, beliefs in shared goals, and amount of collaborative work. Analysis involved examining descriptive statistics and correlations among variables at teacher and school levels and within schools. Teacher-level findings indicated a moderate correlation between collective efficacy and teacher efficacy; collegiality and shared goals were strongly correlated, but both were moderately correlated with collaborative work. Further, collective efficacy was moderately correlated with collegiality and shared goals but less so with collaborative work. School-level correlations were strong except for a weak correlation between collective efficacy and collaborative work. Collective efficacy and collaborative climate are school-level phenomena, so teachers at the schools had more common perceptions of these variables than did individual teachers. The individual nature of teacher efficacy was reinforced by the negligible associations between teacher efficacy an,d any of the collaborative climate variables at both the teacher and school levels. Within-school analyses proved problematic because of the small number of respondents and lack of linear relationships in some instances. This study of high school teachers supported the notion that teacher and collective efficacy are related concepts but that they function differently and have different correlates. It also showed that collective efficacy is related to collaborative climate, specifically, shared goals ,and collegiality. The results have implications for school leaders: Collective efficacy can be a powerful concept for heightening awareness of a school's capacity for organizing and implementing effective actions to meet goals: collective efficacy is strongly associated with teachers' having shared goals; and the dynamics of collaborative climate are clearly connected to teachers' assessment of their school's collective efficacy.

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