The Missing Link in School Reform

Whaddya know? Researcher C.R. Leana found that the existence of trusting relationships between teachers is a significant predictor of improved student performance.

In this 2011 article, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Carrie R. Leana discusses “The Missing Link of School Reform.”

The abstract says: Leana presents social capital as a fundamental element of school reform. She critically reviews the theory that improving the human capital of schools and school systems should be the focus of school reform.

The paper reports research indicating that social capital, particularly the formation of strong, trusting relationships between teachers, is a significant predictor of improved student performance. The research indicates that teachers are more likely to seek support and assistance from their peers than their school principal or experts outside their school. The development of collegial relationships, therefore, supports collaborative learning among staff and can also build the expertise or human capital of school staff as a whole.

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