According to John Hattie, author of some of the most influential research in the field of evidence-based learning, one of the factors that most effectively impact student learning is "collective teacher efficacy," an expression which refers to "the shared belief by a group of teachers in a particular educational environment that they have the skills to positively impact student outcomes" ( When it is strong, solid and properly nurtured, "collective teacher efficacy" has an immediate effect on the learning experience of all students, resulting in a greater sense of self-efficacy, increased intrinsic motivation and improved learning levels.

There are many ways through which "collective teacher efficacy" can be strengthened: among them, one of the most interesting, enjoyable and impactful is undoubtedly the building of "professional learning communities." The term "professional learning communities" refers to the creation and promotion of joint work and training groups among teachers who choose to be together to co-construct learning pathways and implement their positive impact on the learning of their male and female students. It is precisely to nurture the emergence and growth of "professional learning communities" capable of promoting innovative ideas in daily teaching practice that the calendar of meetings of the Literary Club, a forum for discussion, debate and professional development dedicated to English language and literature teachers of all levels, is confirmed again this year. 

The Literary Club represents an occasion where a community of teachers in different parts of Italy meet to explore some of the most pressing current issues using the interpretive lens of English literature. This year's three Literary Club meetings will be devoted to three topics of great relevance in today’s world: cultural and historical revolutions; the importance of physical and mental well-being; and the issue of curriculum decolonisation. 

In the first meeting (February 7), titled How to read contemporary revolutions through the lens of literature, we will start with some of the most recent revolutionary experiences to identify, through the help of literary texts, the elements of continuity and contiguity between different revolutionary experiences in history. The second meeting - titled, Mental Health and/through Literature (March 7) - will address another of the most bursting topical issues that the darkest months of the pandemic have brought to the forefront: the importance of caring for the mental well-being of young people and adults, both in the various representations that the theme has had in the history of literature and concerning the use of literary texts as a "drug" to promote or maintain mental and physical well-being. The third meeting, entitled Is Shakespeare dead? Decolonizing the English curriculum & other reflections (April 4) addresses one of the most controversial issues in contemporary literary studies: the idea that canonical and "immortal" authors such as Shakespeare should be ousted from the canon of literature in favour of voices hitherto unrepresented and therefore subjugated to the power of cultural models deemed hegemonic. 

Through the lively discussion and debate triggered in the now-familiar space of an online room, the community of connected teachers will confront each other on the three explicit themes, sharing meaningful, practical experiences, proposing effective methodological suggestions, and building alliances and collaborations among diverse school communities. 

With a view to a true "professional learning community," the Literature Club is proposed as a "room of one's own" for teachers, who retreat there to engage with a community of colleagues who are passionate and eager to learn with and through the mutual exchange of opinions. As Dana Brinson and Lucy Steiner recall in their contribution entitled Building Collective Efficacy (2007), "building collective teacher efficacy - by providing teachers with opportunities to build instructional knowledge and collaborate with colleagues, with feedback that is insightful and with a vision of success in which teachers are treated as sources of expertise- will [...] transform their schools into organizations with strong collective efficacy and improved student performance" (5). 


Referenze iconografiche: Roman Motizov / Shutterstock