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Leading Collective Efficacy

Leading Collective Efficacy
Powerful Stories of Achievement and Equity

November 2020 | 184 pages | Corwin
Inspiration and Guidance  to Develop Collective Teacher Efficacy

Collective efficacy, or a shared belief that through collective action educators can positively influence student outcomes, has remained at the top of a list of influences on student achievement in John Hattie’s Visible Learning research. Collective efficacy has been embodied by many educators, though collaboration tends to be focused on building community and relationships, which alone are not enough to move the needle on student achievement.

This book contains stories of collective efficacy in schools where it has been actualized in practice, and includes:

• Real-world case studies of teams who have fostered and sustained collective efficacy
• Practical guidance for building collective efficacy through professional learning designs
• Tools that can be adapted for specific needs or local contexts

Through these accounts, readers will gain a better understanding of ways to capitalize on the reciprocal relationship between student achievement and collective efficacy by having a clear understanding of what collective efficacy looks like and how it can be accomplished.

List of Figures and Tables
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Educators’ Beliefs Matter
A Tale of Two School Improvement Teams With Very Different Outlooks

Collective Efficacy Beliefs

Efficacy Beliefs Drive Receptiveness to Change

The Formation of Efficacy Beliefs

Five Enabling Conditions for Collective Teacher Efficacy


Chapter 2: Goal Consensus
The Nature of Goal Consensus

The Maine Township Journey

Focusing on Adult Learning

Overcoming Challenges

Evidence of Success

How Does Goal Consensus Develop Collective Efficacy?

How Can We Support Goal Consensus in Our School or District?


Chapter 3: Empowered Teachers
Teacher Leadership

What Is an Instructional Leadership Team?

Overcoming Challenges

Evidence of Success

How Does Empowering Teachers Develop Collective Efficacy?

A Leadership Mindset

How Can We Empower Teachers in Our School or District?


Chapter 4: Cohesive Teacher Knowledge
Improvement and Change Do Not Follow a Linear Trajectory

What Is Opening Classroom Doors?

Evidence of Success

How Does Cohesive Teacher Knowledge Develop Collective Efficacy?

How Can We Use Opening Classroom Doors to Build Cohesive Teacher Knowledge in Our School or District?


Chapter 5: Embedded Reflective Practices
Perceptions Are Critical to Confronting Inequity

Introduce Structures and Protocols That Help to Facilitate Reflection Based on Evidence

Ensure Teams Use Disaggregated Data and Multiple Measures as Diagnostic and Formative Tools

Encourage Experimentation With Evidence-Based Strategies

Supporting the Sustained Use of Strategies


Chapter 6: Supportive Leadership
A Leadership Mindset

How Do Leaders Shape the Conditions for All to Learn?

What Is the Process of “Letting Go”?

Creating Opportunities for Informal Leadership


Chapter 7: Conclusion
The Best Time to Plant a Tree Is 200 Years Ago. The Second Best Time Is Today.

Afterword: What Collective Belief Does for Communities
Appendix A: Positive Consequences of Collective Teacher Efficacy
The Relationship Between Collective Teacher Efficacy and Student Results

Appendix B: Enabling Conditions for Collective Teacher Efficacy Scale (EC-CTES)
Appendix C: The Stakeholder Interview
Appendix D: Logic Model Template
Appendix E: World Café for Revisiting Logic Model
Appendix F: Opening Classroom Doors Logistics

"Arzonetti-Hite and Donohoo continue to develop the power and specificity of collective efficacy in their new book about how to lead and build efficacy for equity. Their model is 'simplexity' itself. Five big concepts are featured: goal consensus, empowered teachers, cohesive teacher knowledge, supportive leadership, and embedded reflective practices. In each case the authors elaborate on beliefs, consensus, and cohesion. For each of the five big concepts they supply clear examples (vignettes) and evidence of impact. Collective efficacy is a compelling concept that cuts through the intricacies of improvement. An inspiring book that will motivate you to take action from the first to the last chapter."

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
OISE, University of Toronto

"If you want your building to become a warm and welcoming place with a caring staff where all children become lifelong learners, you want to read this book! Collective efficacy will positively impact and transform your school.  It will help close your achievement gap, make your children feel safe, and loved." 

Concetta Lupo, Ed.D., Principal
Blue Bell Elementary School

"Dr. Arzonetti-Hite and Dr. Donohoo's Leading Collective Efficacy: Powerful Stories of Achievement and Equity provides a pragmatic approach to creating a framework as schools work to foster collective teacher efficacy.  The vignettes are relatable and the reflective questions posed throughout help guide leaders as they work to initiate systemic change. If you're looking to provide structures that support teachers to engage in collaborative cycles of inquiry, this book is a great place to start. I look forward to sharing this book with my colleagues as we work to move 'from a focus on individual accountability to collective impact.'"

Kelly Harmon, Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Monmouth County Vocational School District

"Rarely do you find a book that readily addresses the needs of so many departments across education. Leading Collective Efficacy: Powerful Stories of Achievement and Equity should be within arm’s reach of every school teacher, coach, teaching union, principal, inspector and district administrator. Arzonetti-Hite and Donohoo have brought us a book that is completely congruent with Bandura’s Collective Efficacy. They unpack the theory and underpinnings of Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE) and then bring them to life with case studies demonstrating mastery experiences and vicarious experiences. The result is that the reader feels emboldened to bring this to bear on their own context, whether at national or district level or within their own school. They resource the reader with a range of processes that can be readily utilized within schools and across districts to build CTE. The generosity of the educators who have honestly shared their journeys in this book is commendable and is a reflection of the standing of, and trust in Arzonetti-Hite and Donohoo in education leadership."

Caroline Martin, Chief Psychologist
City of Dublin Education and Training Board

"Empowering teachers is something many leaders talk about but not enough put it into action. In Leading Collective Efficacy: Powerful Stories of Achievement and Equity, Arzonetti-Hite and Donohoo provide example after example of schools that are moving beyond talk and putting their collective efforts into impactful action."

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D., Author/Consultant, Education Week Columnist

"An understanding of the conditions necessary to increase the likelihood that CTE will take root in an organization has been known for a decade. In this book, Drs. Arzonetti-Hite and Donohoo provide specific protocols and designs to apply collective efficacy in a school or district setting. By using case studies and exemplars, they outline specific ways in which collective efficacy has been directly implemented across different educational settings thereby bringing new understandings for ways it might be realized in other places."

Dr. Carl Atkinson, Retired Assistant Superintendent

"This book is a great read! As a leader and researcher, this book is backed by validated research and develops upon each enabling condition of collective efficacy through the experiences of educators!"

Dana Jamison, Elementary Principal
Muscoy Elementary School, San Bernardino, CA
Key features
  • A practical how-to book that offers guidance for building collective efficacy through the use of efficacy enhancing professional learning designs
  • Provides a menu of tools that any district can use or adapt to their specific needs and local contexts.
  • Includes an array of real world case examples of North American schools that have successfully fostered and sustained collective efficacy leading to positive impacts on student achievement.
  • Focuses on three essential categories of professional learning designs:: (1) Opening Classroom Doors; Participatory Leadership Practices; (3) Collaborative Inquiry


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