The Jenni Donohoo Center for Collective Efficacy

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OUR STORY

Entrenched beliefs are often a large barrier to implementation efforts in schools and school districts. One misguided belief, commonly held amongst educators, is that they lack the collective capability to impact the lives of their students over and above the influence of students’ homes and communities. At the Donohoo Center for Collective Efficacy, we help to dispel this myth by equipping teams to think differently about the impact they can have on student outcomes.

 

Since collective teacher efficacy topped John Hattie’s list of research identifying what matters most in raising student achievement, there have been many claims about what can be done to increase efficacy in schools. It seems that just about anything under the sun that helps to build trust and community and makes teachers feel good about themselves can be efficacy enhancing. However, it’s much more complicated than that! The programs at the Donohoo Center for Collective Efficacy are grounded in cognitive science and a deep understanding of the collective efficacy research. The Center was created to serve as a hub that offers materials, programs, and services focused on helping educators in not only understanding the research but also in finding ways to enact research-based efficacy enhancing practices into their everyday routines.

MISSION

To increase collective efficacy in schools in order to realize improved outcomes for all students.

VISION

Shape mastery environments in which everyone in an educational setting shares the belief that individually and collectively they have the capability to impact positive change.

FORMATS FOR
DELIVERY OF SERVICES

Institutes and Webinars

We offer a variety of institutes and webinars designed to foster collective efficacy at all levels in your organization. Besides the descriptors outlined below, we can partner with your organization to customize half-day, full-day or longer-term institutes. We also support professional learning through cost-affordable webinars. Select from one or more of the topics below or contact us to collaborate on a customized session.

Resources

Our team has written numerous articles, research briefs, and books that we are pleased to share with you. Please click below for more information.

Keynotes

We offer a number of keynotes designed to address different audiences (administrators, teachers, and/or support staff) and we can work with you to customize messages to suit your purpose and needs. Whether it’s a small gathering or a large conference, we can help by delivering key messages that will motivate the audience to take action and work better as a team in order to realize collective impact.

On-Site and Virtual Coaching

Our coaching program is designed to help guide teams through the change process. Coaches are experienced facilitators and have guided professional learning communities in schools for many years. Teams can come together to reinforce the status quo or reinvent learning and teaching. We help to ensure the latter by focusing our efforts on improving the quality of collaboration while keeping it focused on instructional improvement. This is largely accomplished through the utilization of high-quality professional learning structures and protocols. One or more of our expert coaches will work side-by-side with your team and leaders to help ensure success.

Institutes and webinars

We offer a variety of institutes and webinars designed to foster collective efficacy at all levels in your organization. Besides the descriptors outlined below, we can partner with your organization to customize half-day, full-day or longer-term institutes. We also support professional learning through cost-affordable webinars. Select from one or more of the topics below or contact us to collaborate on a customized session.

Understanding Collective Teacher Efficacy and its Impact on Student Outcomes

Collective efficacy is a significant belief system for improving student outcomes. When educators share the belief that they can influence student achievement, regardless of some of the difficult circumstances faced in schools today, it results in greater student achievement.

Outcomes - Participants will:

  • Describe the effect size research and other research findings related to collective efficacy;

  • Identify the attributes or characteristics of an efficacious team;

  • Know the positive and negative consequences associated with collective teacher efficacy;

  • Consider how efficacy beliefs come to fruition in educators’ practice.;

  • Identify efficacy shaping sources and understand what influences a team’s interpretation of their effectiveness.

Collective Efficacy: The Key to Quality Implementation in Schools and Districts

Successful educational reforms are defined by deep levels of implementation of what is known to work best in systems, schools, and classrooms. When educators share a sense of collective efficacy, it results in the deeper implementation of high-leverage leadership and instructional practices. System and school leaders’ efforts toward successful change reforms are better served by strategically and intentionally considering how to foster collective efficacy throughout the enactment and assessment of change initiatives. In this session, we will examine ways to tap into mastery as the main source of collective efficacy in support of deeper implementation of evidence-based practices.

Outcomes - Participants will:

  • Identify opportunities and challenges in regard to achieving quality implementation in educational settings;

  • Distinguish between four interrelated dimensions of scale (in relation to scaling change initiatives in schools);

  • Describe a process through which quality implementation occurs in schools;

  • Consider three ways in which collective efficacy beliefs serve to either impede or strengthen quality implementation of evidence-based practices in educational settings;

  • Name the four sources of collective efficacy;

  • Identify key features of mastery environments and four key areas of focus for creating mastery experiences in teams.

Research-Based Leadership Practices for Fostering Collective Efficacy

By strengthening collective efficacy, educators will develop the resolve to persist against challenges and realize increased student results. Research provides guidance on leadership practices that are associated with collective efficacy. During this session, participants will determine a method for measuring collective efficacy and develop a theory of action for fostering collective efficacy in schools.

Outcomes - Participants will:

  • Name 3-4 ways in which they can determine/measure a staffs’ level of efficacy;

  • Develop a plan for gathering evidence related to collective teacher efficacy in their buildings;

  • Identify research-based, efficacy enhancing leadership practices;

  • Describe ways to enact specific, effective leadership practices;

  • Use a taxonomy to examine teacher collaboration;
    propose ways to meaningfully involve teachers in school improvement;

  • Describe the conditions, processes, and consequences of goal setting;

  • Determine a structure for helping teams interpret results;

  • Develop a theory of action for fostering collective efficacy in schools/districts

Enhancing Collective Efficacy Through Professional Learning

Enriching educators’ professional learning experiences is critical if we are going to realize better outcomes for all students. Collective teacher efficacy can be developed through professional learning and therefore, it’s important to understand the significance of collective efficacy when planning for professional learning. Building on mastery experiences and providing opportunities for vicarious experiences should be part of an on-going and deliberate professional learning plan for schools and school districts. In addition, leaders of professional learning need to be aware of and capitalize on feedback as well as teachers’ affective reactions as part of a high-quality professional learning plan. During this session, participants will develop a professional learning plan that purposefully taps into the sources of efficacy.

Outcomes - Participants will:

  • List and describe the characteristics of effective professional learning;

  • Examine four processes used by highly successful teams in creating the conditions for mastery (learning together, cause-and-effect relationships, goal directed behavior, and purposeful practice);

  • Identify ways to strengthen the six factors that increase the impact of vicarious experiences as efficacy shaping sources for PLCs;

  • Critique efficacy enhancing collaborative learning structures;

  • Assess efficacy enhancing protocols and determine how they might be revised for use in their school/context.

 

keynotes

We offer a number of keynotes (see one example below) designed to address different audiences (administrators, teachers, and/or support staff) and we can work with you to customize messages to suit your purpose and needs. Whether it’s a small gathering or a large conference you’re organizing, we can help by delivering key messages that will motivate the audience to take action and work better as a team in order to realize collective impact. Feel free to select the keynote described below or contact us with any additional requests.

The Power of Teams in Schools

Collective efficacy is about the overwhelming power that school teams have to impact change when they join together to solve problems. When educators share the belief that they can influence student achievement, regardless of some of the difficult circumstances faced in schools today, the results can be very powerful. In addition to knowing the consequences of collective efficacy, participants will understand how collective efficacy beliefs are formed. Most importantly, ideas for fostering efficacy amongst teams will be shared.