Fr-SYM-2394-2 - How Teams Lead To Learn. Effects Of Vertical And Shared Leadership On Learning In University Teacher Teams

Group and team processes
1 hour
Teams and workgroups
Group and team processes
How Teams Lead to Learn. Effects of Vertical and Shared Leadership on Learning in University Teacher Teams
M. Koeslag 1,*, P. Van den Bossche 2, S. van der Haar 3 3, M. van der Klink 1, W. Gijselaers 3
1Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Sittard, 2University of Antwerp, Antwerp, 3Educational Research and Development, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
Main Abstract Content: Purpose
Connecting teachers in teams is argued to support educational innovation (Fullan, 2010). Effective teams develop new solutions through engaging in team learning behaviors (Zaccaro, Ely, & Shuffler, 2008). In practice, however, teachers are not used to share and discuss their practices together (Cox, 2004). Team leadership is often forwarded as essential for stimulating learning behaviors (Myers, 2012). This study examined which leadership behavior (transformational or initiating structure) stemming from which source (vertical or shared) is stimulating learning behavior in university teacher teams with an innovative task.
Data from 52 university teacher teams were analyzed. Survey items contained: team learning behavior, vertical and shared team leadership behaviors (i.e. initiating structure and transformational), task complexity, and team performance.
Hierarchical regression analyses showed that shared transformational leadership had the largest effect on team learning, more so than vertical transformational leadership. Vertical and shared initiating structure did not predict team learning.
Our data are cross-sectional and a longitudinal study could provide more insight in dynamics of team learning and leadership behavior.
Research/Practical Implications
Our findings indicate that learning in teacher teams dealing with innovative tasks is supported when team members encourage each other in challenging the status quo.
Examining multiple leadership styles’ effects on team learning is new (Nicolaides et al., 2014). Moreover, empirical studies on university teacher team learning are scarce (Vangrieken, Dochy, Raes, & Kyndt, 2015).


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