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Diving Into the Mess of Real Collaboration

Establishing structures and processes for meaningful collaboration focused on delivering better results is a research supported component of nearly every kind of effective organization.  Published in the research describing the correlates of effective schools in the 1970s and 80s, we educators have largely struggled to close the “knowing doing gap” to implement focused, meaningful collaboration due to the assembly line structure of our system and an unwillingness to embrace change as a necessary positive.  Our more recent focus on implementing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) has moved collaboration efforts forward considerably, yet the literature and constant conversations about being a PLC continues to make clear just how much we struggle to change our system to facilitate this kind of work.  At the end of the day, real collaboration requires protected routine time for teachers to focus on the student achievement results created in their classrooms.  The time needs to be led by effective teacher leaders, and a disciplined culture that doesn’t tolerate the all too common tangent or distraction must be cultivated.  15 – 20 hours each week focused on collaborative analysis of specific lessons, student work, and common assessment results is taking place in other advanced countries and the results are beginning to show.   Read more »