Many elementary students' math performance improves when their teachers collaborate, work in professional learning communities or do both, yet most students don't spend all of their elementary school years in these settings, a new study by UNC Charlotte researchers shows. The U.S. Department of Education funded the study, which the journal Sociology of Education recently published.
As school districts work to improve math scores and narrow racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps, many schools may have overlooked the impact of teacher collaboration and professional community on student success. Collaboration involves teachers working together to promote student achievement. A professional community exists when teachers feel a sense of belonging to a school, take pride in the school, understand and accept the school's mission, and are constantly learning strategies to improve student achievement.