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Do students learn more when their teachers work well together?

from The Washington Post

Debates about how to improve educational outcomes for students often involve two camps — those who focus on the impact of in-school factors on student achievement and those who focus on out-of-school factors. There are many in-school factors discussed but improving the quality of individual teachers (or teachers' human capital) is almost always touted as the main strategy for school improvement. Social capital is malleable; policies can and do shape teachers' professional networks and how they function. For example, Gamoran, Gunter and Williams (2005) showed that sustained and coherent professional development can be used to create strong collegial ties (or social capital) among teachers. more


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