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Engagement through Communities of Practice

Successful school leaders encourage staff members to engage with colleagues, parents, community members, and others to share responsibility and accountability for improving teaching and learning. Through this engagement, collaboration has the chance to increase ten-fold and in a variety of directions: vertically, horizontally, locally, globally, online (virtually), and offline (face-to-face). When encouraged by school leaders, collaborative efforts support diffusion of best practices and innovation throughout the organization; these leaders advance conditions necessary for staff to develop collective efficacy, an attribute well documented in research to improve student achievement (Hattie, 2008). Additionally, through these actions, school leaders expand the reach of teachers to build a collaborative culture of learning that extends beyond the classroom and school.