The concept of teacher collaboration as a means of improving student learning seems like a "no brainer" to me. Ideally, teams of teachers should meet formally every week to discuss students, plan interventions, coordinate units, and prepare for school events. The outcome, in my mind, should be a vastly improved coordination of efforts to focus on problem students and present a consistent and collaborative program of individualization. Students can then learn that they could not carry on "as usual" because the team had their number. It also means that parent conferences routinely involved the same small group of teachers with a common understanding of events, not one teacher in isolation. Very powerful and empowering. Therefore, it' a "no brainer."
Teacher Collaboration: The Missing Link in School Reform?
Most striking, students showed higher gains in math achievement when their teachers reported frequent conversations with their peers that centered on math, and when there was a feeling of trust or closeness among teachers. In other words, teacher social capital was a significant predictor of student achievement gains above and beyond teacher experience or ability in the classroom. And the effects of teacher social capital on student performance were powerful. If a teacher's social capital was just one standard deviation higher than the average, her students' math scores increased by 5.7 percent.