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Daily Court Reporter - News OSU study: Teacher's sense of collective success closes achievement gap

 

OSU study: Teacher's sense of collective success closes achievement gap

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

A study of a Texas school district found that teachers' sense of the effectiveness of instruction at their school is linked to an achievement gap between black and white students.

Roger Goddard, lead author of the study and Novice G. Fawcett Chair and professor of educational administration at The Ohio State University, characterized the discovery as one of the best evidence-based methods to address any such gap.

Schools in which teachers showed high levels of collective efficacy had a 50 percent reduction in the academic disadvantage experienced by black students, compared to schools where teachers had average levels, the study showed.

"The importance of this finding should not be underestimated," Goddard said. "The achievement gap has been a persistent problem in the country with few good solutions.

"But we found something that really makes a difference and that schools can take proactive steps to develop."_

The study involved 13,472 students and 2,041 of their teachers in 47 schools in one Texas school district, a press release detailed. Student achievement in each school was measured by scores on state-mandated mathematics tests in Grades Four and Five.

Researchers controlled for the students' socioeconomic status.

The test scores in each school were compared with the teachers' scores on Goddard's scale to measure their sense of collective efficacy. Teachers rated how much they agreed with statements, such as "Teachers here are confident they will be able to motivate their students" and "The opportunities in this community help ensure that these students will learn."

The study found that the better teachers felt about their work reflected directly to students' scores.

"But it was notable that collective efficacy didn't help all students equally - it actually helped black students more and helped them close the gap with white students," Goddard said.

He said the findings corroborate other research which suggests that teachers who feel efficacious put forth more effort, are more creative problemsolvers, and are less likely to give in to negative thoughts when things go wrong.

Goddard conducted the study with Linda Skrla of the University of the Pacific and Serena Salloum of Ball State University. Results appear in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk.

Date Published: November 24, 2017

 

Copyright © 2017 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved

 

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