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Collaboration – Next step in our journey?

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Collaboration is a word that is thrown around in a lot of conversations and I sometimes wonder whether we all have the same understanding or definition.  

Over the last 6 years Te Huruhi School has been exploring collaborative teaching and learning practices.  During this time the staff have participated in a broad range of professional development opportunities and conducted their own investigations and inquiries.  The purpose of this time was to explore what is considered best practice and to identify how this might work at our school for our learners.

Gina Benade (Principal Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School), concluded in her 2017 Sabbatical Report that ‘Collaboration is not simple and requires careful thinking, preparation and time to achieve, and to really understand collaboration requires allowing it to develop over time by repeated action and reflection.’ I feel that this statement encompasses our journey as we try and define collaboration at Te Huruhi School.

This year we have continued to read broadly on a range of topics but our recent articles have focused on defining collaboration. I really like this diagram by Greg Carroll because it shows how inextricably linked things are in a collaborative space or relationship.  Greg’s full article can be found at

http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2015/06/collaboration-so-much-more-than-parallel-play.html

Over the next couple of months the teaching staff will visit a variety of schools across Auckland to look at how they collaborate, promote student agency and the systems they use to support effective classroom programmes.

Our current aim is that by the end of the school year we will have created a Te Huruhi School definition for collaboration and a matrix to show what the different levels of collaboration look like.  This is important because a common understanding will enable us to work closer not only with each other but also with our tamariki and whanau.

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