The traditional way to increase the human capital of a school is professional development outside the organization, it means by using external resources. However, the world experience shows that it works well only in not developed education organizations, where weak education traditions and the staff with a low level of qualification. The more complex tasks are aimed by the education organization, the less effective in using the methods of traditional professional development, and the organization should find more effective ways.
What interactions should we consider as social capital that influences the professionalism of teachers and the quality of education?
Usually, it seems that teachers already have enough interactions with each other: they gather in groups and vigorously discuss different topics during breaks and events, they are involved in the staff, school meetings and prepare the activities, etc. But in reality, it is not enough and often not covering all aspects. The lessons are the main and will be for a long time the main form of the educational process at school. At the lesson, students receive the main part of education, knowledge, skills and abilities; the lesson affects the results of the final assessment. Please, analyze how the interactions accepted in your school affect the quality of the lesson?
Interaction and communication are significant regarding teaching activities in the classroom!
The collaboration will not appear on its own and will not be the result of orders or appeals, because it is hard work and requires time and effort. Collaboration involves confrontations, compromises, presenting an opinion.
Collaboration arises when there are common goals, but not as vague as «improving the quality of education» but more specific ones, such as «using more productive issues in lessons than reproductive ones», or «decrease in half the time taken to manage discipline during the lesson».
However, even if such goals appear in the daily practice of teachers, this is not enough. Each teacher needs a «mirror» – feedback from a colleague who can a) record problems and progress in overcoming them, and b) work together to find solutions. And this is the social capital of the school: teachers discuss professional issues, observe activities of each other, inevitably change their practices, and learn from each other. But, only, if the interactions are regular, at least once a week.
Cooperation must require trust in each other – it is the confidence that if they set themselves, demonstrate insufficient qualification, admit to difficulties then it will not be used against them, will not drop them down in the eyes of others, but, on the contrary, will help to become higher professionals.
Intensive professional interactions (or their absence) certainly are reflected in the real structure of the organization. The evaluation tool captures connections and levels of trust and helps make evidence-based decisions.