The teachers learned about it in an article, "The Missing Link in School Reform," last year by LERA's Carrie Leana, a business school prof at the University of Pittsburgh. They experienced it first hand when they were on the picket line together.
WBEZ, the Chicago NPR station, did a story on Oct. 4. Here's a bit: "[Leana's] surveyed thousands of teachers and reviewed tens of thousands of student test scores.
"'The more that teachers talk to one another about what they do, about their work, and the closer they feel to one another, the higher the student achievement gains,' Leana said. 'So what you see is a direct effect of social capital on student achievement.'
"Leana says nationwide, schools are focused on human capital right now, emphasizing individual teacher effectiveness. Leana says schools should pay attention to social capital too — and make sure teachers have time to talk to one another about their work.
"Leana says teachers tend to go to each other for advice — not to their principals. That’s why increasing trust among them is so important — it’s the main way teachers get better. Leana says especially in a climate where teachers feel under attack, they will only go to people they deeply trust.
"The newfound closeness among Chicago teachers gives researchers like Leana some homework: they’ll have to figure out whether Chicago sees a “strike effect” bump in its test scores this year." Click here to listen to or read the story.
Click here to read Leana's article, "The Missing Link in School Reform," first published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.