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School Climate


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Introduction: A Tale of Two Leaders Meet Tim Meet Trudy Leadership and School Climate Chapter 1. What Is Collaborative Leadership? The Hattie Effect The Importance of Self-Efficacy In Pursuit of Collaboration What the Research Says Collaborative Leadership Framework Collaborative Leadership Growth Cycle In the End Chapter 2. School Climate: Setting Up a Safe Space to Collaborate Why Does School Climate Matter? Collaborative Leadership Framework for Teachers Solving the Issues: Collaboration in Action In the End Chapter 3. Climate Change: Raising Student Self-Efficacy Social-Emotional Learning Minoritized Populations The Early Warning System (EWS) Using the Early Warning System A Warning About the EWS In the End Chapter 4. Increasing Teacher Self-Efficacy The Cycle of Collaborative Teacher Observation: A Review Professional Learning and Development (PLD) Teacher Leaders and School Climate Building Collective Efficacy Through Collaborative Inquiry Classroom Climate In the End Chapter 5. Building Collective Efficacy With Families What Do We Expect From Families? Family Engagement Communication Do We Openly Listen to Families? In the End Chapter 6. Building Our Own Self-Efficacy A Tale of Two Leaders What's Your Mindset? How Do Leaders Increase Their Own Self-Efficacy? In the End Appendix Collaborative Leadership Reflection Tool Faculty Meeting Exit Ticket Teacher Efficacy Scale (Short Form) Collective Teacher Efficacy Scale Leadership Self-Efficacy Scale References Index

About the Author

Peter DeWitt (Ed.D) is a former K-5 teacher (11 years) and principal (8 years). He runs workshops and provides keynotes nationally and internationally focusing on collaborative leadership, and fostering inclusive school climates. Within North America, his work has been adopted at the university and state level, and he works with numerous districts, school boards, regional and state organizations where he trains leadership teams and coaches building leaders. Additionally, Peter is a Visible Learning Trainer for John Hattie, and was an Instructional Coach for Jim Knight for several years. He is the Series Editor for the Connected Educator Series (Corwin Press) and the Impact Series (Corwin Press) that include books by Viviane Robinson, Pasi Sahlberg, Yong Zhao and Michael Fullan. His Finding Common Ground blog ( has been published by Education Week since 2011. He is the 2013 School Administrators Association of New York State's (SAANYS) Outstanding Educator of the Year, and the 2015 Education Blogger of the Year (Academy of Education Arts & Sciences). Peter is the author of several books including Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most (Corwin Press/Learning Forward) and School Climate: Leading with Collective Efficacy (Corwin Press/Ontario Principals Council. 2017) and Coach It Forward: Using the Art of Coaching to Improve Leadership (Corwin Press. 2018). His articles have appeared in education journals at the state, national and international level, and he has presented at forums, conferences, and panel discussions at state, national and international conferences. Some of the highlights has been to present for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), ASCD and NBC's Education Nation.


"Peter DeWitt has provided us with a powerful and timely book on the growing phenomenon of 'Collective Efficacy'. The Six Chapters contain a goldmine of ideas, resources, tools, surveys, action steps and reflective questions. What I like best is that the book is grounded equally in research and practice. This is an urgently needed book, and you will learn a lot from it!"

-- Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus

"While schools focus on common standards, data analysis, and increasing achievement, Peter DeWitt explains the critical nature of school climate and why, as the "5th C," it is imperative for school success. As a school leader, Peter often asked thought-provoking questions, engaged in challenging conversations, and encouraged reflection, much as he does in Collaborative Leadership: A Collective Efficacy Approach to Improving School Climate. Through interesting vignettes, personal experience, and a variety of research, Peter provides a practical approach for growing a rich, safe environment."

-- Melissa J. Weatherwax, M.S.Ed., Former classroom teacher

"If you are a fan of cooperative learning like I am and believe in the power of team work, this book is for you. Whether you are a district leader, school principal or classroom teacher, you will find numerous examples and practical ideas that Peter DeWitt offers in this book useful. Collaborative Leadership shows how one plus one can sometimes be three in collectively led schools."

-- Pasi Sahlberg, Author

"Peter's book provides hands-on information on how collaborative leadership can help you create a school climate with the focus on learning. One in which all students (and teachers) feel they belong and are able to grow. Each chapter ends with action steps and questions to help me find the confidence to lead my team towards collective efficacy, including my own, without avoiding the tough topics."

-- Claire Ohlenschlager, M.Ed., English Department Chair

"This is a fabulous book by a renowned expert in the field of leadership. Peter DeWitt explains the complex and credible in a way that is thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring. I love how he gives insights in what successful collaborative leadership is and shows how we can all build our skills and mindset for leading towards collective efficacy."

-- James Nottingham, Challenging Learning author and creator of #TheLearningPit

"In School Climate: Leading With Collective Efficacy, Peter DeWitt delivers in print what he so readily delivers in person -- clarity and coherence around a most important topic. As a former high school principal and district leader, DeWitt leaves me with both the confidence that I can do this, and the understanding of how I can make progress, starting today. This is a must read for any school leader."

-- Kerry Alcorn, Teacher/Author/Leader

"Peter DeWitt gives school leaders exactly what they need, research-based school improvement strategies that work effectively in schools today. Our instructional leadership teams, working with Peter over the past year building teachers' self-efficacy and collective teacher efficacy, are now co-constructing a school culture where everyone not only grows, but thrives. School Climate: Leading With Collective Efficacy is a roadmap to this proven approach to student success."

-- Matthew Bolduc, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

"Supported by current educational research, and grounded in powerful leadership narratives, Dewitt offers a compelling case for leaders and learning communities to collaborate to achieve collective efficacy for student success. The practical strategies, research citations, conceptual frameworks, rubrics, and self-assessment tools provide leaders with practical instruments for reflection, setting intentions, securing accountability, and measuring the impact of a collaborative climate and culture."

-- Jill Ott, Project Lead-Supporting LGBTQ Students

"As educators we consistently hear about the importance of collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creatively and in School Climate, Peter DeWitt highlights the additional key element 'Climate'. By providing action steps, discussion questions and reflective tools, this book helps guide teachers, leaders and those teachers who aspire to be leaders, to develop a positive school climate. Increased self-awareness encourages teachers to become more reflective and effective, which develops a more collaborative school climate. Providing effective strategies throughout, this book is relevant and applicable to all school contexts, teams and individuals."

-- Andrea Stringer, Professional Learning Coach

"After reading DeWitt's book on collaborative leadership and school climate, my own self-efficacy improved. I closed the cover feeling empowered and eager to share what I've learned. The discussion questions bring practicality to the possibility of implementation and excitement about the potential results."

-- Sera Deo, MST, 4th Grade Teacher

"Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next? Simple, yet aspirational questions we ask our students to answer daily, but are we ready to ask this of ourselves in relation to our leadership of school climate and collective efficacy? Peter Dewitt is comprehensive, yet succinct, producing a practical guide for developing individual and collective efficacy in an inclusive, positive school climate. Research-based strategies, thought-provoking questions and effective tools at your fingertips, ready for immediate use. If you're after a good read, that's exactly what you'll get here....but if you're after an essential resource to empower your school community through the strength of belief that they can make learning happen, you will get that and more."

-- Ben Walsh, Principal

"Collaborative Leadership: A Collective Efficacy Approach to Improving School Climate is an impressive follow-up to DeWitt's previous book, Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences That Matter Most. In his latest offering, DeWitt offers practical yet deep advice and strategies for improving school climate for the benefit of students, families, teachers, and administrators. Throughout the book, he communicates by seamlessly combining research with his experiences and the accounts of other professionals in the field. Many ideas can be implemented tomorrow, and DeWitt's main points are those with which any educational leader could identify. If you are looking for a book to assist you on your journey to advancing your leadership abilities, your school, and/or your district, look no further!"

-- Ross Cooper, Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12

"School Climate: Leading With Collective Efficacy combines the research, anecdotes, reflection questions, and action steps necessary to become a high-impact, capacity-building school leader. DeWitt's style, all-at-once relatable and grounded in the work of John Hattie and so many others, will prompt readers to consider the essential aspects to our work together to be catalysts for progress in teacher, and community learning, and in student achievement."

-- Dennis J. Schug, Jr., Principal

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