A Message from the LFKS President
Hearing Jenni Donohoo as our keynote at the Learning Forward Annual Leadership Conference was inspiring. I spent the day listening, learning, and reflecting on my own building goals, professional learning and how to increase collective teacher efficacy and ensure quality implementation. The title of Jenni’s new book is Quality Implementation: Leveraging Collective Efficacy to Make “What Works” Actually Work. So, I keep asking myself, what comes first, the chicken or the egg; collective teacher efficacy or quality implementation? Collective teacher efficacy is gained through mastery experiences and quality implementation. Quality implementation is gained by having collective teacher efficacy.
Jenni defines Collective Teacher Efficacy as, “the overwhelming power that groups have to impact change when they share the belief in their ability to solve problems and overcome challenges.” Jenni defines Quality Implementation as, “A critical mass of people doing their best to apply and experiment with ‘what’s supposed to work.’ Assessing impact relative to the intended outcomes. Learning about what worked and what didn’t work and why within respective contexts and then making the necessary modifications accordingly.” I now envision these two things similar to a double-panned balance. This type of scale functions like a seesaw with two pans attached to a beam over a centered pivot point. Keeping the pans in balance is how collective teacher efficacy and quality implementation work together. So, it isn’t about what comes first, it’s more about the seesaw effect of keeping both in balance with each other.
So how do we keep this seesaw balanced? Jenni notes that repeated mastery moments are the most significant source of building collective efficacy. As student achievement increases, so does the teacher’s collective efficacy. Jenni introduced us to four key focus areas for increasing mastering experiences.
- A focus on learning together
- A focus on cause and effect relationships
- A focus on goal directed behavior
- A focus on purposeful practice
After attending any professional learning event, the next step is the application of new knowledge. I challenge you to explore these four focus areas amongst your staff. What do they mean to you? What are you currently doing and what can you do better or more? We need to be purposeful in setting goals and exploring the cause and effect of our learning outcomes. Richard Biggs says, “The greatest gap in life is the one between knowing and doing.” We know what needs to be done, let’s do it.
Jo McFadden, President
Learning Forward Kansas