A recent visit to the theater to watch the newly released movie “Spider-Man: Homecoming” provided the opportunity to give a shout out to educators returning to schools and classrooms for the 2017-2018 school year. A natural question would be—how in the world did Spider-Man provide such an opportunity? The answer? It wasn’t so much Spider-Man as it was the collaborative efforts of the Avengers.
Thanks to Hattie’s meta-analyses of educational research studies, there is much to consider when prioritizing actions we can take in schools and classrooms. Among the many factors influencing student achievement, Hattie states that Collective Efficacy is the factor with the absolute highest effect size: 1.57. A recent article on fostering collective teacher efficacy clarifies three enabling conditions that will establish a culture of Collective Efficacy: Advanced Teacher Influence, Goal Consensus and Responsiveness of Leadership.
With this context, a return to the collaborative actions of the Avengers is warranted. The Avengers team is made up of individual superheroes who each have unique talents. An in-depth study of each Avenger also reveals vulnerabilities. For the Avengers, it is not their individual strengths that allow them to meet their goal of protecting humanity. It is their collaborative effort. The Avengers know that together they are better. They leverage each other’s strengths to fill in each other’s gaps. They know that together they will overcome any and all obstacles. This is the power of Collective Efficacy.
As a new school year begins, it is appropriate to celebrate the collaborative efforts and collective impact that will occur in classrooms across the country. Like the Avengers, teachers will leverage strengths to fill in gaps. They will commit to the belief that together they are better. That together, they will have a positive influence on student outcomes. Like the Avengers, they will have a shared vision and defined goals for achieving their vision. They will persist in the face of difficulty knowing that their collective energy will transform teaching and ultimately increase learning—despite challenges students may face.
Let’s celebrate edu-heroes who collaborate to transform teaching and learning. Let’s celebrate edu-heroes who persist in growing as professionals. Let’s celebrate edu-heroes who regularly collaborate to lead learning for themselves and others. Let’s celebrate edu-heroes who believe in the power that comes from leveraging strengths to fill gaps. Let’s celebrate edu-heroes who embrace their Collective Efficacy and collaborate to improve student outcomes.
Celebrate your favorite edu-heroes by sending them this video with a THANK YOU!
 Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning For Teachers: Maximizing Impact On Learning. New York, NY: Routledge
 Hattie, J. (2016, July). Mindframes And Maximizers. 3rd Annual Visible Learning Conference Held in Washington, DC.