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 much contact with each other: during breaks and events, they gather in groups and vigorously discuss, take part in the work of the Pedagogical Council and Methodical Association once a month, prepare together for holidays. But this is very little and often for the wrong reasons. The lesson remains and will remain for a long time the main form of organizing the educational process at school. It is at the lesson that children receive the central part of education, knowledge, skills and abilities; the lesson affects the results of the final assessment. Look at the extent to which your school interactions affect the quality of the lesson?
Interaction and communication regarding pedagogical activities in the classroom are
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 one position.
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 class than reproductive ones», or «cutting in half the time taken to establish discipline in class».
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 organization: teachers discuss professional issues, observe each other activities, inevitably change their practices, and learn from each other. But, only, if the interactions are regular (at least once a week).
Cooperation must require people trust in each other - the confidence that if they set themselves, demonstrate insufficient qualifications, admit to difficulties, it will not be used against them, will not drop in the eyes of others, but, on the contrary, will help to become higher professionals.
Intensive professional interactions (or their absence) are certainly reflected in the real structure of the organization. The research tool captures connections and levels of trust and helps make evidence-based decisions.