Does professional community affect the classroom? Teachers' work and student experiences in restructuring schools

Karen Seashore Louis, Helen M. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Scopus citations

Abstract

School reform efforts have focused on the development of professionally enriching work groups for teachers as a vehicle for improving student achievement. This study examines the impact of school professional community on the intellectual quality of student performance (assessed using authentic measures) and on two dimensions of classroom organization, the technical (measured as authentic pedagogy) and the social (measured as social support for achievement). Employing quantitative (multilevel) and qualitative analytic methods, we show that in 24 nationally selected, restructuring elementary, middle, and high schools professional community is strongly associated with these dimensions of classroom organization. Both professional community and social support for achievement have a positive relationship to student performance, but the strength of their association with authentic pedagogy accounts for that effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-575
Number of pages44
JournalAmerican Journal of Education
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998

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