How did Teacher Collaboration Develop During the Pandemic? A Case Study of six Public High Schools in Santiago, Chile

Keywords: High schools, teacher collaboration, pandemic, organizational learning


Background. Although it is often assumed that the COVID-19 crisis led to increased teacher collaboration, there is a scarcity of empirical studies in this area. Aims. This research aims to investigate the impact of the pandemic on teacher collaboration in six public high schools in the Metropolitan Region of Chile over a two-year period (2020-2021). Methods. A qualitative methodology was employed, utilizing a multiple case study design, with a focus on conducting individual semi-structured interviews. Principals and teachers from the six high schools were interviewed three times, resulting in a total of 146 interviews. Results. I) The crisis resulted in three distinct moments: emergency responses, remote working, and adapted face-to-face modes that affected collaborative work. II) Three shared tasks emerged: remote teaching, addressing emerging student needs (prioritizing learning), and renewing teaching approaches on which teachers focused their professional collaboration. III) Two key factors, namely social capital and a pre-existing culture of collaboration, as well as effective school leadership, played a mediating role in the varied responses observed among the high schools. Conclusions. Although the crisis initially contributed to increased teacher collaboration across all the high schools examined, this collaboration often diminished as the school year progressed and returned to a more normal state, without extending over time. Only a few high schools were able to sustain the progress made and implement changes in their institutional and pedagogical management, as well as in their teaching working conditions. These changes facilitated a successful transition to face-to-face teaching. The key factor to understand the difference between the high schools lay in organizational learning, which can be defined as the schools’ capacity to convert crises into opportunities for transformation, specifically through collaboration among teachers.

Author Biographies

Jose Weinstein, Universidad Diego Portales

José Weinstein. Sociologist from the University of Chile and with a PhD in Sociology from the
Université Catholique de Louvain (Belguim). He is currently the Director of the School Leadership
Program at Diego Portales University, Chile, where he is Full Professor. His recent work has
focused greatly on school leadership development, relational trust and capacity improvement of
vulnerable schools.

Javiera Peña-Fredes, Universidad Diego Portales

Sociologist, University of Chile and Master in Friedens- und Konfliktforshung, University of Marburg. Researcher with experience in qualitative and quantitative social research and in the evaluation of social programmes and public policies. She has participated, directed and coordinated studies in education on school improvement, educational leadership, socio-educational conflicts and relational trust in schools.

María Elisa Ansoleaga, Universidad Diego Portales

Elisa Ansoleaga is a full professor at the Diego Portales University. She is a psychologist and has a master's degree in management and public policy and a doctorate in public health. its priority lines of research are: mental health and work; workplace violence and mental health; leadership and mental health.

David Godfrey, Centre for Educational Leadership, London

David Godfrey is an Associate Professor in educational leadership and the Academic Programmes Leader for UCL Centre for Educational Leadership in London. His projects, publications and teaching include research-engaged schools, school peer review, school self-evaluation, accountability systems and teacher collaborative learning. In July 2017, David was acknowledged in the Oxford Review of Education as one of the best new educational researchers in the UK for his article on research-informed policies in the English education system.


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How to Cite
Weinstein, J., Peña-Fredes, J., Ansoleaga, M., & Godfrey, D. (2023). How did Teacher Collaboration Develop During the Pandemic? A Case Study of six Public High Schools in Santiago, Chile. Revista Electrónica Educare, 27(3), 1-20.

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