Sunday, 30 April 2017

Collaboration - different viewpoints

The simple definition of collaboration can be a double-edged sword - working for the collective good or conspiring to change the status quo. This is a reflection of the current education climate where schools are being strongly encouraged and incentivised to form collaborative Communities of Learning. In the educational sector, some look at this from the view of No.1 (image below), and some see No. 2 and are skeptical that collaboration risks undermining their own schools and is a tool of the neo-liberal agenda and school reform. I think they are both right but from the point of view of No. 2, I think we are long overdue for a system change (without the ideological jargon & baggage of  a neoliberal agenda).

To read more about the lead up to Communities of Learning in NZ:
The benefits of collaborative groups particularly for rural principals is recognised:

Iain Taylor - NZPF President 2016
"Collaboration is a practice that professional educators have always incorporated in their practice. It provides the opportunity to share both challenges and solutions and to create solutions where they don’t exist.
Collaborative groups are also great sources of PLD for schools and many share resources which they then agree to channel into a common area for development, whether that is for teachers within schools or for leadership. It has always been a challenge for isolated or rural principals to participate in collaborative groups for PLD, because of the extra travel component.

However, it is perhaps even more important that rural principals are able to connect with each other because they are already isolated with little or no contact with other principals. [my emphasis] The Virtual Learning Network (VLN) has become very popular with isolated schools as they can collaborate at least virtually, even if not in person."
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