The relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement

Sandra Reid Ervin

Abstract

NCLB mandates have placed a strong sense of responsibility on educators to ensure that all students are performing at their optimal academic levels. The collaboration of educators is needed as the accountability for student performances increases. At the school level, collaboration and a focus on instruction influence productivity, morale, teacher retention and ultimately, student achievement. The role of the administrators is to provide a collaborative culture where teachers are empowered to analyze and work together to solve problems. Administrators should provide time and space for the teachers to collaborate. The purpose of this quantitative study was to ascertain the relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement. Teachers in 73 elementary and middle schools in a large suburban school district in Georgia participated. Almost 900 reading, language arts, and math teachers in Grades 3-8 completed a 37-item survey adapted from an instrument developed by McHenry to measure attitudinal perceptions associated with teacher collaboration and student achievement. Three variables, level of teacher collaboration, level of administrative support and time collaborating, were created from the teachers' responses to the items by obtaining the mean of the responses on a 5-point Likert. Student ITBS scores in Grades 3, 5, and 7 were used to measure student achievement. Results from a multiple regression analyses indicated that level of teacher collaboration was not a significant predictor of achievement but that level of administrator support and time collaborating were significant predictors of teacher collaboration.