Teacher collaboration is regarded as a central feature of school quality that promotes students’ learning processes, teachers’ professional development, and school improvement. Although the phenomenon is complex, studies often use global constructs and measures. To meet the research demands, the purpose of this paper is to take a differentiated perspective on teacher collaboration, its particular school conditions and effects on instructional development.Design/methodology/approachData were collected through a survey of 1,105 teachers at 36 secondary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). Using multivariate analysis of variance and structural equation modeling, the occurrence of three different forms of teacher collaboration and their relations to activities of instructional development, structural and cultural working conditions, represented by appropriate scales and indexes, are analyzed.FindingsThe results show that teachers use less resource-intensive forms of collaboration more often and practice more demanding forms of collaboration less frequently. More demanding forms of collaboration not only depend on the working climate but also on individual self-efficacy, institutionalized teams, collaborative and instructional principal leadership and in turn promote the development of interdisciplinary curricula and concepts for individual support.Originality/valueThis study provides evidence for the importance of distinguishing different forms of teacher collaboration. Furthermore, by relating different collaborative activities of teachers to certain school conditions and instructional development, this study makes a contribution to research by emphasizing the relativity of teacher collaboration regarding its desired outcomes as well as its necessary requirements.
Journal of Professional Capital and Community – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2018
Keywords: Teacher collaboration; Teamwork; Instructional development; Professional development; Working climate; Principal leadership; Institutionalized teams