Driver of Student Learning: Collaboration Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Collaboration refers to ‘connections between and among people and groups to share interests and concerns, and create visions for the future’ (Todaro, 2005, p. 137). Collaboration encourages teachers to grow and develop by engaging with other educators. In schools with high levels of collaboration, teachers share their knowledge and experiences that advance learning for instructional improvement and positively affect student achievement (Goddard, Goddard, & Tschannen-Moran, 2007).

The Learning Bar’s Teacher Survey is a self-evaluation tool for teachers that is based on ‘effective schools’ research, consisting of eight of the most important variables associated with the drivers of student learning, and coupled with the Outward Bound model of teaching and learning covered in John Hattie’s book, Visible Learning (Hattie, 2009).

Why is it important?

  • Schools with higher levels of teacher collaboration have higher levels of achievement (Goddard et al., 2007).
  • Teachers’ rates of improvement are greater in schools with higher levels of collaboration (Ronfeldt, Farmer, McQueen, & Grissom, 2015).
  • A professional learning community is developed when teachers discuss frameworks for teaching as they relate to actual experiences within the classroom (Horn & Little, 2010).
  • Educators have identified instruction-focused collaboration as the most helpful form of teacher collaboration (Ronfeldt et al., 2015).

How do we measure it?

Teachers respond to eight items on a five-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Strongly Disagree), 1 (Disagree), 2 (Neither Agree nor Disagree), 3 (Agree), and 4 (Strongly Agree). The data are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as ‘the average score for collaboration’.



Goddard, Y., Goddard, R., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2007). A theoretical and empirical investigation of teacher collaboration for school improvement and student achievement in public elementary schools. Teachers College Record109(4), 877-896.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.

Horn, I. S., & Little, J. W. (2010). Attending to problems of practice: Routines and resources for professional learning in teachers’ workplace interactions. American Educational Research Journal47(1), 181-217.

Ronfeldt, M., Farmer, S. O., McQueen, K., & Grissom, J. A. (2015). Teacher collaboration in instructional teams and student achievement. American Educational Research Journal52(3), 475-514.

Todaro, J. B. (2005). Community collaborations at work and in practice today: An A to Z overview. Resource Sharing & Information Networks18(1-2), 137-156.

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