Loading…

Flash Player 9 (or above) is needed to view presentations.
We have detected that you do not have it on your computer. To install it, go here.

Like this document? Why not share!

Dr. Wm. Kritsonis, Editor, NFEAS JOURNAL, www.nationalforum.com

on

  • 2,095 views

Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, 17603 Bending Post Drive, Houston, Texas 77095 ...

Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS, 17603 Bending Post Drive, Houston, Texas 77095

www.nationalforum.com

Dr. William Allan Kritsonis earned his BA in 1969 from Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington. In 1971, he earned his M.Ed. from Seattle Pacific University. In 1976, he earned his PhD from the University of Iowa. In 1981, he was a Visiting Scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, and in 1987 was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
2,095
Views on SlideShare
2,095
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
8
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft Word

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Dr. Wm. Kritsonis, Editor, NFEAS JOURNAL, www.nationalforum.com Dr. Wm. Kritsonis, Editor, NFEAS JOURNAL, www.nationalforum.com Document Transcript

  • NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL VOLUME 28, NUMBER 2, 2010-2011 LEADING WITH FORCE: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COLLECTIVE EFFICACY AND FACULTY TRUST IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS Karen Petersen Northside Independent School District San Antonio, TX Page Smith University of Texas at San Antonio ABSTRACT A growing body of research indicates that high levels of teacher collective efficacy shape a more effective learning environment for students. Similarly, the literature points to trust as an important social factor influencing positive school environments, open communication, and collaborative decision-making processes. To be sure, school leaders can benefit from understanding how faculty trust influences collective efficacy and contributes to campus effectiveness. Thus, this study explores the relationships between collective teacher efficacy and the three dimensions of faculty trust. Introduction S chools react in a number of ways to pressures placed upon them. They face a myriad of complicated issues and situations. Factors such as accountability pressures and unfunded directives continue to challenge schools, thus intensifying institutional pressures. The ability of educational institutions to overcome the obstacles they face often depends on the social competence 4
  • 5 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL nested in the organization (Hoy, Smith, & Sweetland, 2002b). The literature indicates that social factors inherent at the campus level constitute pervasive forces affecting the press toward school excellence (Bandura, 1993, 1997; Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2004; Goddard, Sweetland, & Hoy, 2000; Hoy & Sabo, 1998; Hoy, Tarter, & Kottkamp, 1991; Smith & Birney, 2005; Smith, Hoy, & Sweetland, 2001). Two organizational properties have recently surfaced that represent potential catalysts for improving the climate of the campus: collective efficacy of the faculty (Bandura, 1993, 1997; Goddard, Sweetland et al., 2000; Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2000) and organizational trust (Hoy & Sabo, 1998; Hoy et al., 1991; Smith & Birney, 2005; Smith et al., 2001). This gives rise to an important question. Do trust influence levels of faculty efficacy, or does trust have little effect on the collective efficacy of the campus? This study explores the relationships between these variables; two social processes that we believe warrant further investigation. Collective Efficacy Over the past two decades, research has established strong relationships between teacher efficacy and faculty behaviors that prompt increased performance (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Woolfolk & Hoy, 1990). However, much of the literature has targeted teacher level data. This investigation targets teacher efficacy at the collective, not individual level. Bandura’s (1986, 1997) social cognitive theory informs the discussion. Social cognitive theory is anchored in human agency—how individuals exert some degree of control over their lives. Vital to this exercise of control is a sense of self-efficacy, that is, “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute a course of action required to produce a given attainment” (Bandura, 1997, p. 3). Personal agency, however, operates within a broad network of social influences; thus, the components of human agency also explain the use of collective agency, or how individuals’ beliefs about a group’s conjoint capability can work together to produce desired effects (Bandura, 1997). Indeed, Bandura (1993, 1997) was first to point out that one powerful construct that varies greatly among schools is the collective
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 6 efficacy of teachers within the school. Accordingly, Goddard, Hoy, and Woolfolk Hoy (2004) define collective efficacy as “the perceptions of teachers in a specific school that the faculty as a whole can execute courses of action required to positively affect student achievement “(p. 4). Social cognitive theory specifies that teachers’ perceptions of self and group capability sway their actions, and subsequently these actions will be judged by the group relative to norms such as those set by vigorous beliefs about the academic pursuits in schools (Bandura, 1986, 1997). Moreover, Coleman (1985, 1987) purports that norms emerge to allow group members some control over the actions of others, especially when such occurrences hold consequences for the group. When the shared beliefs of the group conflict with individual teacher behaviors, the group will sanction their behaviors. Therein, Coleman posits that the intensity of the social sanctions imposed by the group will be proportionate to the effect of the norm breaking on the group. For example, if most teachers are highly committed to strict discipline, the normative and behavioral environment will pressure teachers to adopt classroom management strategies designed to curb undesirable behaviors. Furthermore, the press to discipline will be accompanied by social sanctions for those who do not (Goddard, Sweetland et al., 2000). Accordingly, a growing body of research identifies collective efficacy as a critical attribute of high-performing schools (Bandura, 1993; Goddard, 2002; Goddard, Hoy et al., 2000; Goddard, Sweetland et al., 2000; Hoy, Hannum, & Tschannen-Moran, 1998; Hoy, Smith, & Sweetland, 2002a; Hoy, Sweetland, & Smith, 2002). According to Bandura’s work on self-efficacy (1986, 1993), not only do teachers shape the organization as individuals but they also impact the school as a combined group. In fact, people have a greater sense of efficacy as a group than as individuals, albeit the capacity of the individual’s sense of efficacy in the organization contributes to its sense of collective efficacy (Bandura, 1997). For example, marginal teachers are challenged to meet the efficacy of the group, regardless of its efficacy level. If the group’s efficacy is high, the individual’s efficacy may improve; whereas, a lower collective efficacy will do little to encourage the individual teacher (Goddard, 2003). Though individuals bring their own dynamics to a group, collective efficacy is not simply the aggregate of the individuals. Rather it is the organized group’s
  • 7 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL efforts and shared beliefs formed as a cohesive and symbiotic alliance (Bandura, 1997, 2000a; Goddard, Hoy et al., 2000). Under Bandura’s precepts of self-efficacy (1986, 1993), the group’s efficacy is developed through sources such as mastery and vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and affective arousal. Organizational Trust Although there are many definitions of trust, some common denominators of the construct emerge from the literature. In fact, the bulk of the literature points to five common features of trust. These facets include benevolence, the act of one party caring for another; competence, the demonstrated skill level of a person regularly evidenced; reliability, one party’s ability to consistently accommodate another; openness, the ability to share information with another party in an unrestricted manner; and honesty, the adherence to openly truthful and unreserved ethical behavior. In this investigation, Hoy and Tschannen-Moran’s (1999) definition of trust is employed since their description has been applied to the study of educational organizations (Smith & Birney, 2005; Smith et al., 2001). Hence, trust is conceptualized as “a person’s or group’s willingness to make themselves vulnerable to another person or group, relying on the confidence that the other party exhibits the following characteristics or facets: benevolence, reliability, competence, honesty, and openness” (p. 189). As pressures for student and teacher performance mount, increasing tensions impede attempts by leaders to develop openness, and relationships at the campus level often suffer. Heightened public scrutiny also fuels suspicion, and organizational trust is challenged (Smith et al., 2001). The resulting effects of such situations both moderate the best of school social conditions and tax the abilities of campus leaders. However, the literature points to trust as a key element in establishing and maintaining important school partnerships and organizational effectiveness (Smith & Birney, 2005; Smith et al., 2001; Tschannen-Moran, 2004). Conceptually, trust represents an intriguing concept that is common to high-performing organizations. Although a relatively complicated construct, it is widely considered to be the catalyst for healthy and open schools (Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 2003). To be sure, trust plays an important role in affecting organizational interactions
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 8 and the degree to which these exchanges influence the institution (Rotter, 1967, 1980). Early trust research stemmed from post war tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, concentrated on the interactions of individuals unfamiliar to each other, and targeted perceived loss or gain negotiations between relevant participants (Deutsch, 1958; Luce & Raiffia, 1957; Osgood, 1959). Shortly thereafter, the investigation of trust and its development probed the collective experiences of the individual (Rotter, 1967, 1971, 1980). Later, researchers filtered trust through the collective properties of institutions, and a substantial volume of work emerged identifying the construct as critical to organizational efficiency (Dirks, 1999, Kramer, 1999). Further, the research on effective schools identifies trust as a critical component in improving school effectiveness (Goddard, Tschannen- Moran, & Hoy, 2001; Hoffman, Sabo, Bliss, & Hoy, 1994; Hoy & Kupersmith, 1985), building collegiality (Hoy, Tarter, & Witkoskie, 1992; Tarter, Sabo, & Hoy, 1995; Smith, 2000), and promoting socially healthy campus milieus (Hoy et al., 1992; Smith et al., 2001). In brief, trust is acknowledged as a critical aspect of well-functioning schools (Smith & Birney, 2005; Smith et al., 2001). This study explores teacher perceptions of faculty trust in three prominent school constituencies: colleagues, clients (students and parents) and the principal. In sum, the work presented here attempts to both deepen the trust research and add to the extant literature on collective efficacy in middle schools (Goddard, Logerfo, & Hoy, 2004; Hoy, Barnes, & Sabo, 1996; Hoy, Hannum et al., 1998; Hoy, Sweetland et al., 2002; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Tschannen- Moran & Hoy, 1998). Hypotheses The question of whether organizational trust is related to collective efficacy is both timely and important. Indeed, because schools are pressed to accommodate daily changes, social factors such as trust and efficacy become salient commodities in influencing campus environments. The general hypothesis of this study is that aspects of organizational trust are positively related to the collective efficacy of teachers. But what aspects of organizational trust are the best predictors of collective efficacy?
  • 9 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL First, we hypothesized that the elements of organizational trust would combine to provide a significant set of predictors of collective efficacy. We investigated whether faculty trust in colleagues, clients, and the principal influence the perceptions of teachers that they can affect student success as a group. The rationale is that trust plays an essential role in influencing organizational interactions. Secondly, we theorized that faculty trust in clients would emerge as a statistically significant indicator of collective teacher efficacy. Trust in students and parents were expected to predict a greater sense of collective efficacy due to the supportive nature of teacher/student relationships. The fundamental purpose of student success acts as a dynamic connection between teachers and clients and a probable shared objective among teachers; thus, it is expected to influence collective teacher efficacy. Lastly, we hypothesized that faculty trust in colleagues would also emerge as a statistically significant predictor of the collective efficacy of teachers. In theory, during the course of their working relationship, teachers share competencies and have opportunities to support each other, likely building a sense of trust among the group. Sample and Method The sample of 31 Texas middle schools employed in this investigation represents urban, suburban, and rural schools from the south central area of the state. Although procedures were not used to ensure a random sample from a specified population of schools, care was taken to solicit schools from diverse areas and populations. Only schools with 25 or more faculty members were considered for the study. Schools in the sample represented a broad range of socioeconomic status. To that end, the percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunches was employed as a surrogate measure for socioeconomic status. Middle schools were identified through their grade configurations. Grade span levels included grades 6-8 and grades 7-9.
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 10 Teachers In each of the 31 middle schools, the teacher sample consisted of professional staff members who regularly attend scheduled faculty meetings called by the principal. The researchers obtained approval to conduct campus-level research from both central office school districts’ administrative personnel and campus principals before administering the surveys. With the exception of faculty members who were involved in extracurricular duties or were absent from school, the entire certificated full- time teaching staff of each campus responded to the survey. In brief, the sample represented a group of certified teachers diverse in age, race, gender, experience, and educational level. Measures In order to test the hypotheses, measures of faculty trust and collective efficacy were required. The Collective Efficacy Scale (CE) was used to gauge faculty perceptions of the collective efficacy of the teachers (Goddard, 2002; Goddard, Hoy et al., 2000). Likewise, the Omnibus T-Scale (Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 2003) was employed to measure faculty perceptions of trust in the principal, colleagues, and clients (parents and students). Collective Efficacy Scale The Collective Efficacy Scale (Goddard, 2002) is composed of 12 Likert-type items along a 6-point scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” In this investigation, the Cronbach alpha coefficient of reliability for the Collective Efficacy Scale is .98. The alpha in this study is comparable to those found in previous research (Goddard, 2002), thus supporting the predictive and construct validity of the scale. Omnibus T-Scale To investigate trust, the Omnibus T-Scale was applied. Developed by Hoy and Tschannen-Moran (2003), the Omnibus T-Scale is designed to measure teachers’ collective perceptions of trust in the context of school. The 26-item questionnaire gauges three dimensions of faculty trust including trust in the principal, trust in colleagues, and trust in clients along a six-point
  • 11 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL Likert-type scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Using the current sample of 31 middle schools, alpha coefficients of reliability were computed for each of the three subscales and found to be acceptable: trust in principal (alpha = .98), trust in colleagues (alpha = .93), and trust in clients (alpha = .94). Each of the trust subscales contains items that measure the five facets of trust identified by Hoy and Tschannen-Moran (2003) and they belong to an overall coherent conception of trust. In fact in this research, the alpha coefficients of reliability for the three subscales are higher than those found in prior work. Thus, the Omnibus T-Scale represents a valid and reliable measure of trust for use in middle schools. Data Collection Procedures Data were collected from the faculty of each school at a regularly scheduled faculty meeting. A trained researcher initially coordinated with school administrators the location, time, and conditions under which the surveys were administered. The subjects responded to the surveys during faculty meetings taking place during the mornings before school or in the afternoons after school. Prior to distributing the surveys, the researcher read a statement describing the study and asking the participants for their frank perceptions. During this time, the researcher emphasized that faculty members did not need to respond to any items that made them feel uncomfortable. The researcher also requested that the teachers not include their names on the questionnaires to assure anonymity. The faculty was also assured that the data would be coded to assure confidentiality. The explanation, distribution, and administration of the instruments took approximately 20 minutes. Independent Variables Dependent Variable Trust in Clients Trust in Principal EFFECTS Collective Efficacy Trust in Teachers Figure 1. The independent and dependent variables of the study.
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 12 Descriptive Statistics First, descriptive statistics for each variable were calculated. The independent variables of faculty trust included Trust in Colleagues, Trust in the Principal, and Trust in Clients. The dependent variable was Collective Efficacy. Both the independent and dependent variables were analyzed. In addition, the control variables selected for the study (socioeconomic status of the community [SES] and School Size) were also considered. Means, standard deviations, and ranges are summarized in Table 1. No irregularities were discovered that would prohibit further statistical analyses. Table 1 Descriptive Statistics of Research Variables Variable Mean Standard Minimum Maximum Deviation Collective Efficacy 3.92 .54 3.12 4.81 Trust in Clients 3.22 .55 4.33 4.20 Trust in Colleagues 4.30 .45 3.50 5.00 Trust in Principal 4.30 .90 2.30 5.70 Statistical Analyses This study focused on the aggregate – the faculty perceptions of collective efficacy and trust. The unit of analysis is the school, not the individual members of the faculty. Therefore, individual responses were aggregated for each instrument to the school level. Descriptive statistics including means, standard deviations, and range were calculated for all variables entered. In order to test the hypotheses, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were computed for each aspect of collective efficacy with each referent of faculty trust. A correlation matrix of Pearson product- moment correlation coefficients was constructed to determine whether patterns emerged among the pairs in the set of variables. Factor analysis was also employed to examine the factor structure of the Collective Efficacy Scale and the Omnibus T-Scale. The factor structure of the 31 schools investigated in this study was essentially the same as those
  • 13 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL found in earlier investigations by Goddard (2002) and Goddard, Hoy, and Woolfolk Hoy (2004). Finally, multiple regression analysis was employed to examine the relationships between collective efficacy and each trust referent. All variables were entered using the method of simultaneous entry. Results Correlations of Collective Efficacy and Faculty Trust In this study, the linear relationships between collective teacher efficacy and aspects of faculty trust were computed using Pearson Product- Moment Coefficients. It was predicted that collective teacher efficacy would be positively related to the three elements of faculty trust including trust in clients, colleagues, and the principal. Two demographic variables, socioeconomic status (SES) and school size, were also included in the correlational analysis. The demographic variables were chosen because the SES levels of the community and school size have been previously identified as pervasive influences in educational research. Collective teacher efficacy was shown to be statistically and significantly related to trust in clients, trust in colleagues, and trust in the principal. In addition, collective efficacy was positively related to school size; however the relationship between collective efficacy and SES was negative. Finally, trust in clients and school size was positively correlated, while SES was negatively related. Table 2 presents these results.
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 14 Table 2 Correlational Analysis Trust in Trust in Trust in SES School Clients Teachers Principal Size Collective .872** .683** .628** -.599** .443* Efficacy Trust in Clients .747** .598** -.588** .439* Trust in .560** -.461** .411* Teachers Trust in -.283 .219 Principal SES -.770** **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) Multiple Regression Analyses Accordingly, all three hypotheses were addressed by regressing collective efficacy on trust in clients, trust in teachers, and trust in the principal. Not surprisingly, both SES and school size have contributed to the organizational study of schools (Bandura, 1993; Goddard and Skrla, 2006; Goddard, Sweetland, et al., 2000; Hoy, Sweetland et al., 2002); therefore, they were also entered with the trust variables as controls. In order to test the empirical hypotheses of the study, collective teacher efficacy was regressed on the three dimensions of faculty trust (trust in clients, trust in colleagues, and trust in the principal), SES, and school size using the method of simultaneous entry. Specifically, it was hypothesized (Hypothesis 1) that the elements of trust would combine to form a significant set of predictors of collective efficacy, and indeed, the dimensions of trust along with the demographic variables formed a linear combination that explained a significant portion of the variance in collective efficacy. Thus, the three aspects of trust, SES, and school size explained 75% of the variance in collective efficacy. It was also hypothesized (Hypothesis 2) that faculty trust in clients (students and parents) would emerge as a statistically significant predictor of collective teacher efficacy and indeed that was the case.
  • 15 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL In fact, trust in clients was the only trust variable that made a statistically significant and independent contribution to collective teacher efficacy. The other two trust dimensions, colleagues and principal, were not statistically and significantly related to collective efficacy. In other words, though statistically significant correlations existed among the variables, neither faculty trust in other teachers nor trust in the principal predicted teachers’ sense of collective efficacy. (See table 3.) Likewise, neither SES nor school size predicted collective efficacy among teachers. The results of the regression analyses are depicted in Table 3. Table 3 Multiple Regression of Collective Teacher Efficacy/ Faculty Trust/ SES and School Size Standardized Collective Teacher Efficacy Coefficients (Beta) r beta Faculty Trust in Clients .87** .66** Faculty Trust in .68** .02 Colleagues Faculty Trust in .62** .18 Principal Socioeconomic -.60** -.17 Status (SES) School Size .44* -.02 R=.89 Adjusted R Square =.75 *p<.05 **p<.01 In sum, it was hypothesized that trust in clients and trust in colleagues would each make statistically significant and independent contributions to the variance in collective efficacy, but the results did not support these expectations. Therefore, with regard to the influence of the trust referents in this study, only faculty trust in clients predicts teacher
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 16 collective efficacy. In fact, the influence of faculty trust in clients overwhelmed all of the other variables in predicting collective efficacy. Discussion Collective Efficacy and Faculty Trust The general hypothesis of this study, that the elements of organizational trust would combine to provide a significant set of predictors of collective efficacy, was supported. However, only one trust factor was found to be a statistically significant independent predictor of collective efficacy. It is interesting to note that earlier studies have shown statistically significant relationships between collective efficacy and trust (Geist & Hoy, 2003; Hoffman et al., 1994; Hoy, Smith et al., 2002b; Hoy & Tschannen- Moran, 1999, 2003; Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1998). Research also has revealed that for schools to be more effective, trust must play an important part in the relationships between teachers and the campus principal (Geist & Hoy, 2003; Hoy et al., 1992; Hoy et al., 2002b; Hoy & Sweetland, 2000; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1998), colleagues (Dirks, 1999; Geist & Hoy, 2003; Goddard, Goddard, & Tschannen-Moran, 2007; Hoffman et al., 1994; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 2003; Smith & Shoho, 2007; Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1998), and clients (Goddard, 2003; Hoy, 2002; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Smith et al., 2001). Human agency at the collective level is a combination of all the individuals of the organization lending voice to a common, intentional direction (Goddard, 2003). When utilizing collective agency, the group uses its power and influence to engender a strong work ethic and foster personal accountability (Bandura, 1997, 2000b, 2001; Hoy, 2002). Thus, trust abets openness and, in turn, openness produces honest and efficient cooperation among stakeholders, which enhances collective efficacy of the faculty. This results in greater instructional effort and persistence from teachers (Goddard, Sweetland, & Hoy, 2000; Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). Trust in Clients
  • 17 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL Previous research addresses the impact of efficacy on the effective operations of schools (Goddard, Sweetland, & Hoy, 2000; Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). Moreover, a strong connection between student achievement and the collective efficacy of the faculty has been identified (Goddard, Sweetland, & Hoy, 2000). The results of this study indicate that trust in clients emerged as a strong predictor of the collective efficacy of the faculty (ß = .66, p < .01). Clearly, this substantiates the concept of mastery experiences, which build confidence within a group (Bandura, 1997, 2000a; Goddard, Hoy et al., 2000). It is possible that high student achievement facilitates reciprocal reinforcement between collective efficacy and faculty trust in clients. Students who achieve at high levels send messages to the faculty that they are doing their jobs well. In turn, the teachers both see and believe the results of their efforts. Based on the confidence that high levels of student achievement produces, they are more receptive and open to trying innovative strategies to keep achievement at a high level. In essence, they trust the students are committed to high achievement and feel more open to introducing new strategies to reinforce that belief. Hence, trust emerges as an integral part of the activities and exchanges among school stakeholders (Goddard 1998, 2003; Hoy 2002). Trust in Colleagues Faculty trust in colleagues (Hypothesis 3) was also expected to predict collective teacher efficacy. In fact, prior studies have demonstrated statistically significant relationships between trust and teacher professionalism, collegiality, and collaboration (Goddard et al., 2007; Goddard, LoGerfo et al., 2004; Hoffman et al., 1994; Hoy & Tschannen- Moran, 1999, 2003; Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993; Newmann, Rutter, & Smith, 1989; Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1998). But what about collegial trust and collective efficacy? In general, collective efficacy involves common beliefs and actions among teachers and other school stakeholders as they share goals and responsibilities and seek excellence. Through their familiar interests and willingness to be open with each other, we assumed that teachers trusting their colleagues would reinforce an efficacious learning environment where the faculty is dedicated to achieving
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 18 the group’s collective goals. However, our results indicate that teacher trust in colleagues did not emerge as a statistically significant predictor of collective efficacy. In fact, we find the results of our investigation surprising, given the pervasive effects of trust in previous investigations (Goddard et al., 2007; Goddard, LoGerfo et al., 2004; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993). It could be that teacher interaction with students and their parent’s impact pupil motivation and learning, while relationships with colleagues have far less impact on classroom interactions and outcomes. Truly, additional research into the possible linkage between faculty trust in colleagues and collective efficacy is merited. Trust in the Principal Previous research related to principal behaviors indicates that leadership behaviors affect factors such as faculty trust in the principal and collective efficacy (Hoffman et al., 1994; Hoy, Smith et al., 2002b; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Smith et al., 2001; Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1998). However, in this study, faculty trust in the principal did not emerge as a statistically significant and independent predictor of collective teacher efficacy. One possible reason for this could be that leadership behaviors exhibited by principals are not necessarily the daily foci of teachers. As evidenced by the results in this case, the teachers concentrated their efforts on students and parents. It is also possible that the teachers believe their collective efforts have a greater influence than the principals’ efforts. As such, it is likely that teachers put greater trust in their clients than in their principals’ efforts to bring about student success. Perhaps trust in the principal had a more indirect effect on the milieu of the school compared with that of trust in the students and parents. Only further research into this area will tell. Implications Although the results of this study indicate that teachers trusting in their clients predicts collective efficacy, the findings did not produce similar markers between collective teacher efficacy and the other dimensions of faculty trust. In fact, we were surprised to find only one trust variable emerged as a statistically significant, independent predictor of teachers’ sense of collective efficacy. However, this investigation adds to the school
  • 19 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL trust and efficacy literature in that it reaffirms that the collective efficacy of the faculty is positively influenced by trusting relationships between teachers and their clients (parents and students). Indeed, this relationship among teachers and clients identifies an area that can be readily tapped and utilized by practitioners. Practical Implications The research instruments utilized in collecting the data for this study were found to be valid, reliable, and quite suitable for use in middle schools. In brief, construct validity of the measures has been supported in previous studies and this was the case in our research (Goddard, 2002; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Smith, 2000). We believe these instruments can be utilized to support school leaders in assessing organizational aspects of their campuses. However, one caveat is in order. Although the instruments can produce a snapshot of the effects of two salient social factors present in schools, the data collected from these measures cannot actually solve the problems identified by the analysis. Put simply, using the data collected from the Omnibus T-Scale and the Collective Efficacy scale can provide opportunities for school leaders to examine their faculty’s perceptions of the campus environment and take subsequent actions to build a climate of trust and collective efficacy among their teachers, thus improving the social milieu of the campus. Dealing with campus problems is the responsibility of the campus leadership team. To be successful, all parties must be open and honest for progress to occur. Hoy and Tarter (1997) recommended the group take time to build trust prior to opportunities for collaboration. This is essential when working with students in the classroom, and also a valid argument when working with parents of whom one has little-to-no relationship previous to the collaborative undertaking. Building trust in schools requires moving away from the traditional managerial practices that support disconnected goals toward a more inclusive decision-making model. Decisions shared by parents, students, teachers and administrators cultivate trusting, productive relationships. To that end, it is important that schools create this community in their site-based teams, student-centered teaching strategies, and educational opportunities for at-risk students (Goddard et al., 2001). School leaders
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 20 should make an effort to be intentional about reaching out to parents to build relationships beyond cultural and economic differences. Unfortunately, some parents who are intimidated by school are less likely to be involved with their child’s education. School personnel are in a position to offer assistance to families for academics and inspire parents to take an active role in their child’s other activities. In doing this, the invitation for parents to become school partners should express sincerity and kindness rather than a judgmental or adversarial stance. Even when met with resistance from clients, teachers and administrators can build a more positive relationship with parents and students when there is authentic concern for the child (Goddard et al., 2001; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999). Research Implications This study employs a non-experimental, quantitative design, which addresses two research questions. The first research question targeting teacher perceptions of the three dimensions of trust and their sense of collective efficacy resulted in expected outcomes. The aspects of trust were positively and significantly related to collective efficacy, with some aspects being more strongly related than others. In addition, although the regression analyses failed to identify statistically significant links between two of the trust variables (colleagues and the principal) and collective teacher efficacy, trust in clients was found to predict the collective efficacy of the faculty. This speaks to research question two, whereby trust in clients emerged as the best predictor of collective efficacy. In other words, when teachers trust their students and parents, they feel a stronger sense of collective group effectiveness by knowing that all members of the school team are pulling together. In this study, neither trust in colleagues nor in the principal were identified as statistically significant predictors of the collective efficacy of teachers. One explanation for the results of these findings could be that teachers’ foci become unidirectional given their current press to raise student scores; therefore the faculty affords less time developing collegial relationships. Yet, the literature is clear, collective efficacy is commonly identified as a salient component of improving student success. This fact strengthens the claim that faculty trust in clients, which entails rational attributes such as benevolence, reliability, competence, honesty, and openness, will likely increase a teacher’s willingness to work together in a
  • 21 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL collective mindset to accomplish group goals. Overall, the findings of this study are clear. Trust in clients is the best predictor of collective teacher efficacy. Conclusion The results of the regression analyses in this study indicate that trust in clients is a statistically significant predictor of collective teacher efficacy. As such, the finding reinforces the importance of developing trusting relationships between teachers, students and parents. At present, teachers are inundated with mandates and procedural requirements in an effort to improve student achievement. The connection between trust and collective efficacy has much to contribute to the field. Indeed, this study represents a modest attempt at examining two salient social factors that have been shown to influence the climate of schools. There is no research study without limitations and this one is no exception. Therefore, these results should be interpreted cautiously. Although the results of this study indicate that teachers trusting in their clients predicts collective efficacy, the findings did not produce the common markers between collective teacher efficacy and the other dimensions of faculty trust garnered in earlier research (Geist and Hoy, 2003; Hoffman et al., 1994; Hoy et al., 1992; Hoy, Smith et al., 2002b; Hoy & Sweetland, 2000; Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 1999, 2003; Shoho & Smith, 2004; Tschannen-Moran, 2001). Surprisingly, teacher trust in clients was the only finding common to prior studies. Furthermore, neither of the demographic variables significantly predicted teachers’ sense of collective efficacy. Despite these results, this investigation reaffirms the fact that the collective efficacy of the faculty is positively influenced by trusting relationships between teachers, parents, and students. Certainly, the sole commonality of this relationship among teachers and clients implies an area that can be tapped and utilized by practitioners. In sum, the information gleaned from this investigation will add to the extant literature on schools and provide valuable information about school social processes. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the organizational perspective of schools and improve current educational applications.
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 22 REFERENCES Ashton, P. T., & Webb, R. B. (1986). Making a difference: Teachers’ sense of efficacy and student achievement. New York, NY: Longman. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman. Bandura, A. (2000a). Self-efficacy: The foundation of agency. In W.J. Perrig (Ed.), Control of human behavior, mental processes, and consciousness (pp.17-33). Erlbaum. Bandura, A. (2000b). Exercise of human agency through collective efficacy. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(3), 75-78. Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 1-26. Coleman, J. S. (1985). Schools and the communities they serve. Phi Delta Kappan, 66(8), 527-532. Coleman, J. S. (1987). Norms as social capital. In G. Radnitzky & P. Bernholz (Eds.), Economic imperialism: The economic approach applied outside the field of economics (pp. 135-155). New York, NY: Paragon House. Deutsch, M. (1958). Trust and suspicion. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2(4), 265-279. Dirks, K. T. (1999). The effects of interpersonal trust on work group performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(3), 445-455. Geist, J. R., & Hoy, W. K. (2003). Cultivating a culture of trust: Enabling school structure, teacher professionalism, and academic press (Unpublished manuscript). The Ohio State University. Gibson, S., & Dembo, M. H. (1984). Teacher efficacy: A construct validation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(4), 569-582. Goddard, R. D. (1998). Effects of collective efficacy on student achievement in urban public elementary schools (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The Ohio State University, Ohio. Goddard, R. D. (2002). A theoretical and empirical analysis of the measurement of collective efficacy: The development of a short form. Educational & Psychological Measurement, 62(1), 97- 111.
  • 23 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL Goddard, R. D. (2003). The impact of schools on teacher beliefs, influence, and student achievement: the role of collective efficacy beliefs. In J. Raths and A. C. McAninch (Eds.), Teacher beliefs and classroom performance: The impact of teacher education (pp. 183-202). United States: Information Age Publishing. Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2000). Collective teacher efficacy: Its meaning, measure, and effect on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 479-507. Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2004). Collective efficacy beliefs: Theoretical developments, empirical evidence, and future directions. Educational Researcher, 33(3), 3-13. Goddard, R. D., LoGerfo, L., & Hoy, W. K. (2004). High school accountability: The role of perceived collective efficacy. Educational Policy, 1, 1-23. Goddard, R. D., & Skrla, L. (2006). The influence of school social composition on teachers’ collective efficacy beliefs. Educational Administration Quarterly, 42(2), 216-235. Goddard, R. D., Sweetland, S. R., & Hoy, W. K. (2000). Academic emphasis of elementary schools and student achievement in reading and mathematics. Educational Administration Quarterly, 36(5), 683-702. Goddard, R. D., Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, W. K. (2001). A multilevel examination of the distribution and effects of teacher trust in students and parents in urban elementary schools. The Elementary School Journal, 102(1), 1-17. Goddard, Y. L., Goddard, R. D., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2007). A theoretical and empirical investigation of teacher collaboration for school improvement and student achievement in public elementary schools. Teachers College Record, 109(4), 877-896. Hoffman, J., Sabo, D., Bliss, J., & Hoy, W. K. (1994). Building a culture of trust. Journal of School Leadership, 4, 484-501. Hoy, W. K. (2002). Faculty trust: A key to student achievement. Journal of School Public Relations, 23(2), 88-103. Hoy, W. K., Barnes, K., & Sabo, D. (1996, Spring). Organizational health and faculty trust: a view from the middle level. Research in Middle Level Education Quarterly, 19-38. Hoy, W. K., Hannum, J., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (1998). Organizational climate and student achievement: A parsimonious and longitudinal view. Journal of School Leadership, 8(4), 336-359.
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 24 Hoy, W. K., & Kupersmith, W. J. (1985). The meaning and measure of faculty trust. Educational and Psychological Research, 5(1), 1-10. Hoy, W. K., & Sabo, D. (1998). Quality middle schools: Open and healthy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Hoy, W. K., Smith, P. A., & Sweetland, S. R. (2002a). A test of a model of school achievement in rural schools: The significance of collective efficacy. In W. Hoy & Miskel (Eds.), Theory and research in educational administration. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Hoy, W. K., Smith, P. A., & Sweetland, S. R. (2002b). The development of the organizational climate index for high schools: Its measure and relationship to faculty trust. The High School Journal, 86(2), 38-49. Hoy, W. K., & Sweetland, S. R. (2000). School bureaucracies that work: Enabling not coercive. Journal of School Leadership, 10, 525- 541. Hoy, W. K., Sweetland, S. R., & Smith, P. A. (2002). Toward an organizational model of achievement in high schools: The significance of collective efficacy. Educational Administration Quarterly, 38(1), 77-93. Hoy, W. K., & Tarter, C. J. (1997). The road to open and healthy schools: A handbook for change. (Elementary and secondary school edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Hoy, W. K., Tarter, C. J., & Kottkamp, R. B. (1991). Open schools/healthy schools: Measuring organizational climate. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Hoy, W. K., Tarter, C. J., & Witkoskie, L. (1992). Faculty trust in colleagues: Linking the principal with school effectiveness. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 26(1), 38-45. Hoy, W. K., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (1999). Five faces of trust: An empirical confirmation in urban elementary schools. Journal of School Leadership, 9(3), 184-208. Hoy, W. K., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2003). The conceptualization and measurement of faculty trust in schools: The omnibus T-Scale. In W. K. Hoy & C. Miskel (Eds.), Studies in leading and organizing school, (pp. 181-208). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Hoy, W. K., & C. Miskel (Eds.), Studies in leading and organizing school, (pp. 181-208). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
  • 25 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk, A. E. (1993). Teachers’ sense of efficacy and the organizational health of schools. The Elementary School Journal, 93, 355-372. Kramer, R. M. (1999). Trust and distrust in organizations: Emerging perspectives, enduring questions. Annual Reviews: Psychology, 50(1), 569-598. Luce, R. D., & Raiffa, H. (1957). Games and decisions: Introduction and critical survey. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Newmann, F. M., Rutter, R. A., & Smith, M. S. (1989). Organizational factors that affect school sense of efficacy, community, and expectations. Sociology of Education, 62(4), 221-238. Osgood, C. E. (1959). Suggestions for winning the real war with communism. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 3, 295-325. Petersen, K.S. (2008). Collective efficacy and faculty trust: A study of social processes in schools (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas. Rotter, J. B. (1967). A new scale for the measurement of interpersonal trust. Journal of Personality, 35(4), 651-665. Rotter, J. B. (1971). Generalized expectancies for interpersonal trust. American Psychologist, 26, 443-452. Rotter, J. B. (1980). Interpersonal trust, trustworthiness and gullibility. American Psychologist, 26, 1-7. Smith, P. A. (2000). The organizational health of high schools: In dimensions of faculty trust (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The Ohio State University, Columbus. Smith, P. A., & Birney, L. L. (2005). The organizational trust of elementary schools and dimensions of student bullying. The International Journal of Educational Management, 19(6), 469-485. Smith, P. A., Hoy, W. K., & Sweetland, S. R. (2001). Organizational health of high schools and dimensions of faculty trust. Journal of School Leadership, 11(2), 135-151. Smith, P. A., & Shoho, A. R., (2007). Higher education trust, rank, and race: A conceptual and empirical analysis. Innovative Higher Education, 32 (30), 125-138. Tarter, C. J., Sabo, D., & Hoy, W. K. (1995). Middle school climate, faculty trust, and effectiveness: A path analysis. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 29(1), 41-49. Tschannen-Moran, M. (2001). Collaboration and the need for trust. Journal of Educational Administration, 39(4), 308-331.
  • Karen Petersen & Page Smith 26 Tschannen-Moran, M. (2004). Trust matters: Leadership for successful schools (pp. 334-352). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. AUTHORS Karen Petersen is the Principal at Alternative MS South in the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. Petersen obtained her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Texas as San Antonio. She is consistently recognized for her work as a school administrator and continues her mission to influence learning for at-risk students. Her areas of inquiry target organizational studies with an emphasis on individual and collective efficacy. Page Smith is the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Smith obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Ohio State University. His research interests include organizational climate and health, institutional trust, collective efficacy, student aggression and bullying, institutional change and influence.