School innovativeness is associated with enhanced teacher collaboration, innovative classroom practices, and job satisfaction.
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Professor Sigrid Blömeke.
Foto: Øystein Andresen/UiO.
School innovativeness has become a crucial criterion for the long-term success of education systems in terms of their adaptability to societal changes. We examined the relations among school innovativeness—measured by teachers’ perceptions to what extent the climate at their school is open for innovation and change—and key outcomes at the teacher and school level, including contextual effects. Large-scale data from the 48 countries participating in the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018 (N = 154,959) were utilized. To quantify effects and explain possible between-country variation, we performed multilevel structural equation modeling and meta-analyses. The data supported the hypothesis that more innovative schools delivered better outcomes in terms of teacher collaboration and exchange, job satisfaction, cognitive activation of students, and innovative teaching practices. The strength of relations varied by outcome and country. Contextual effects of school innovativeness existed for job satisfaction, teaching practices, and exchange among teachers. The data revealed that effects involving teacher collaboration and exchange as well as job satisfaction were more homogeneous across countries than those involving cognitive activation and innovative teaching practices. As hypothesized, teachers’ prior opportunities-to-learn how to teach cross-curricular skills, how to use information and communication technology (ICT), and how to handle diversity were directly related to the outcomes and indirectly via school innovativeness, thus confirming a mediating role of the latter. The data supported the hypothesis that country patterns could be explained by countries’ cultural orientation (individualism vs. collectivism), yet not their economic status. We discuss implications for educational policy making and teacher education.
Based on TALIS 2018 data from 48 countries, our findings support the idea that innovative school environments are associated with more collaboration among teachers and higher job satisfaction. In collectivistic-oriented countries, innovative schools reported in addition more frequent innovative teaching practices and higher cognitive activation of students. Opportunities to learn such practices during teacher education were positively related to both schools’ innovativeness and the implementation of these practices. Our study thus supports that an innovative school environment and innovative teacher education can contribute to desirable school outcomes (with some variation across countries depending on their culture). These are important findings given that recent discussions about school innovativeness had assumed that teachers working at schools that are open for innovation would respond positively to new ideas without providing evidence for this assumption.
Blömeke, S., Nilsen, T., & Scherer, R. (2021). School innovativeness is associated with enhanced teacher collaboration, innovative classroom practices, and job satisfaction. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000668