What do we know about teams?

December 14, 2020

School Teams. Distributed leadership and collaborative school cultures have a strong base of research support, and school teams represent these concepts β€œin action.” School teams today are ubiquitous; however, their effectiveness in enhancing school outcomes is not automatic and they must be intentionally and carefully designed, implemented, and supported. Collaborative school cultures are enabled when high trust levels and a culture of shared practice among staff are present, and leadership capacity building for teachers is provided. School leadership teams, which include the principal and teacher leaders, are tasked with addressing school improvement, and often analyze learning data and determine professional learning needed for staff. These teams need ample planning time and professional development (e.g., in methods of data analysis) to guide their work. Instructional teams, which may include grade-level or subject-area groups of teachers, often take the form of professional learning communities, which develop curriculum and instructional strategies, review student performance data, and adjust practice as necessary. Principals support these teams effectively when they establish a direction for their work, identify and/or develop teacher leaders to lead teams, and provide sufficient time for the collaborative work to take place. Multidisciplinary, or problem-solving teams, include specialists (e.g., special education teachers) and general educators working together to plan programming for students who need specialized supports to be successful. Research shows these teams can be effective when training and organizational supports are in place to foster collaboration. For successful implementation, all types of school teams will benefit from school leaders who can instill a collaborative school culture, and ensure that team members have the resources and support to work together effectively.

Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Teams. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/leadership-models-teams

Link: https://www.winginstitute.org/leadership-models-teams