Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sincere Collaboration - Got me Thinking

During the Emerging Leaders Conference a group of interested participants got thinking about the notion of Collaboration. It was certainly a theme that arose from the time spent with people at the two days. Our group looked at the potential of scaling Collaboration to create positive momentum for Educational change across Schools and sectors throughout NZ. We surfaced some barriers that often disable collaboration. Competition between Schools is an area that we felt needed to be addressed and overcome.

Some of the potential ideas shared to increase collaboration were;
Term or year Sabbaticals between Schools for teacher leaders.
An add on to tki or the likes to share and pool tried and true resources. (There are some legalities around Creative Commons that need to be addressed here).
What about TOD or non contact days, Afternoon PLGs across Schools on shared themes to share successes and narratives around what different Schools are doing, what's working. (I am now motivated to start a PLG on the use of more open learning spaces - so that we can learn more from Collaborating with other Schools who are in the same boat.)
A collection of digital stories exemplifying success stories in the classroom
Having expectations tied up with Teacher Standards around teacher, leaders Making a contribution. Dan Pinks The Surprising truth about what motivates people suggests it's something that drives most people.

I think the world as a whole is just starting to move beyond accepting the power of collaboration to sincerely valuing it. What I have observed in one short month at Stonefields School in the learning hubs where teachers are having to work visibly and intimately work along side one another in the same learning space, great things are happening. Let us learn, let us share beyond our School gate. NZ is small, together we have the potential to achieve greatness.

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. Jim Collins

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