Our account suggests that district policymakers can influence teachers’ access to their expert peers, but relying solely on making student test data widely available to teachers is likely to be insufficient, due in part to the skepticism among school staff about test data as a metric for expertise. Instead, policymakers should attend carefully to the various ways that school staff use different sorts of information, including student test scores, to figure out instructional expertise among their peers, and design educational infrastructures that maximize opportunities for teachers to see and engage with these experts.1
The above quote is from a study recently on the when teachers seek advice, the teachers that do, and who they ask.2 For a fuller account I would recommend this post from Bradley Busch.3 Of particular interest to me is the importance of giving teachers the structures in which to work together, a space to discuss and become better. This research shows that not all teachers will do this of their own accord and that these teachers are exactly those that could benefit the most. It is of utmost importance, then, that senior management doesn’t force teachers to talk but give them reasons to want to talk and a forum to do it.
1 Constructing “Experts” Among Peers: Educational Infrastructure, Test Data, and Teachers’ Interactions About Teaching, 23.