Glossary »  deep level collaboration

collaborative activity that is nourished and sustained by cultural and institutional features such as shared expectations, strong collective identity, shared visible learning encouraging critical reflection, and forms of regular meetings, collective events and ways of organising group working that make space for collaborative teacher learning

Learn more from the EFFeCT paper:

"This highlights the cultural and institutional structures that help to sustain and give depth to collaborative teacher learning. Research suggests that a weakness of teacher collaboration is that it often does not involve sufficient probing into methods of teaching, mutual observation of practice and critical examination of teaching, and that it can consist of an aggregate of individuals with little structure (Vangrieken et al 2015). Structured collaboration, on the other hand, displays a depth of critical enquiry that includes ‘sharing evidence about both teachers’ and pupils’ learning, making it more visible and thus open to review. … [I]t is only when professional learning conversations are rooted in both trying out new approaches (thus disturbing the status quo) and exploring evidence from those experiments that these conversations have benefits for pupils’ (Cordingley 2014: 45).

Deep level collaboration is characterised by cultural and institutional features that nourish and sustain collaborative teacher learning. Culturally, these may be manifest - in a team, group, school or community - in a number of ways: for example, as shared expectations and a strong collective identity as active collaborators in leading change; as learning made visible through being shared, which includes ideas, research and stories of practice being circulated so as to illuminate the processes and results of collaborative learning; and a collective commitment to critical reflection (Frost 2013, 2014). Institutionally, these supports may include regular meetings, collective events and ways of organising group working that make space for collaborative teacher learning, as well as arrangements that give access to resources that enable such regular interaction and innovative change."

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