Barriers to Teacher Collegiality
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 9 No. 4 (2008): Vol-9-Issue-4-April-2008
Strong and healthy collegial relationships among educators is believed to be a vital element in
enhancing school effectiveness and school improvement. Numerous benefits from teacher collegiality
have been reported as evidence of the need for building a more effective collegial culture in schools.
Regrouping among teachers to promote collaboration in teaching and new configurations of teacher
collegiality constitute integral parts of constructive schools (Johnson, 1990). However, in spite of its
numerous benefits, collegiality is still a rare element in most schools (Bruffee, 1999; Heider, 2005).
This article elucidates some of the common barriers to collegiality among school teachers.
The literature on teacher professional collegiality has consistently cited a number of prevailing barriers
to meaningful interactions (see e.g., Dipardo, 1997; Knop et al., 1997; Kruse & Louis, 1997; Leonard,
1998), among them the most repeatedly highlighted are: time constraints, fragmented visions,
competitiveness, conflict avoidance, and lack of administrative support (Dipardo, 1997; Friend &
Cook, 2000; Johnson, 1990; Knop et al., 1997).