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Collaborative Professionalism

Collaborative Professionalism
When Teaching Together Means Learning for All

May 2018 | 176 pages | Corwin

Ensure Conversations About Collaboration Get Results.   

Ask any educational professional about collaboration and chances are they’ll tell you it’s one of their core values. But this familiar sentiment doesn’t always translate into meaningful professional experiences that help educators or their students grow. 

Addressing this critical gap head-on, this book lays out the theory and practice of Collaborative Professionalism. Through five international case studies, the authors distinguish Collaborative Professionalism from professional collaboration by highlighting intentional collaborative designs and providing concrete examples for how to be more purposeful with collaboration.  

Additionally, the book makes Collaborative Professionalism accessible to all educators through clear take-aways including:

  • Ten core tenets, including Collective Efficacy, Collaborative Inquiry, and Collaborating With Students.
  • Graphics indicating how educators can move from mere professional collaboration to the deep and transformative work of Collaborative Professionalism.
  • Analysis of which collaborative practices educators should start doing, keep doing, and stop doing 

Collaboration can be one of your most powerful educational tools when used correctly, and turned into action. This book shows you how.

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
About the Authors
Part I: Developing and Designing Collaborative Professionalism
1. The Case for Collaborative Professionalism
From Professional Collaboration to Collaborative Professionalism

Designing Collaborative Professionalism

The Culture and Context of Collaborative Professionalism

Moving Toward Collaborative Professionalism

Making It Happen

2. Moving Toward Collaborative Professionalism
Developing Collaborative Professionalism

Designing Collaboration

3. Open Class and Lesson Study
Open Class Teaching

Open Class Feedback

Open Class Planning

Lesson Study

The Four Bs of Collaborative Professionalism


4. Collaborative Curriculum Planning Networks
Collaboration in Rural Environments

Job-Alike Collaboration

Focus on Engagement

The ELA Job-Alike Group

Network Design

Network Principles

Network Technology


5. Cooperative Learning and Working
Consistency of Cooperation

Context of Cooperation


6. Collaborative Pedagogical Transformation
Vision of Escuela Nueva

Learning in Escuela Nueva

Teachers in Escuela Nueva




7. Professional Learning Communities
The First Generation

The Second Generation

From Second to Third Generation

The Provincial System

Collaborative Inquiry in Ontario


Part II: Deepening Collaborative Professionalism
8. Ten Tenets of Collaborative Professionalism
Collective Autonomy

Collective Efficacy

Collaborative Inquiry

Collective Responsibility

Collective Initiative

Mutual Dialogue

Joint Work

Common Meaning and Purpose

Collaborating With Students

Big Picture Thinking for All


9. The Four Bs of Collaborative Professionalism





Moving From Professional Collaboration to Collaborative Professionalism

Part III: Doing Collaborative Professionalism
10. Doing Collaborative Professionalism
What Should We Stop Doing?

What Should We Continue Doing?

What Should We Start Doing?

Last Words


In many countries, the preferred political strategy to raise standards in education is relentless competition: between students, teachers, schools and districts. On the whole, it isn't working. There is a better way. One that works: collaboration. Human beings are intensely social creatures and much of what we can and do achieve comes from our capacity for working together. In this illuminating and highly practical book, Andy Hargreaves and Michael T O'Connor show why and how collaboration can and should be the real driver of educational transformation, for our students, teachers, and schools alike. An important and timely work for anyone with a genuine interest in making the changes that matter in schools. 

Sir Ken Robinson, Educator and New York Times Best Selling Author of You, Your Child, and School

Collaborative Professionalism makes an impressive contribution to the development of teaching and improving schools by stressing the importance of investing in social capital in and between schools. Building on their rich experiences and vivid case studies from around the world, Andy Hargreaves and Michael O’Connor promote collaborative professionalism as the next big step in the global movement for educational improvement. This brilliantly written book is a must-read for teachers, leaders, policy-makers, and those who wish to become collaborative professionals. 

Pasi Sahlberg, Professor, Gonski Institute for Education, UNSW Sydney, Australia
Gonski Institute for Education, UNSW Sydney, Australia

I strongly recommend Collaborative Professionalism to education policy makers, school leaders, and teacher activists.  It has helped me reflect on how to strengthen the teaching profession, at a time of unprecedented threat from technology, retention, and narrow accountability.  The book combines a readable style, with tangible case studies and clear recommendations on what should be done now to foster a healthy future for the most important of professions – working in alliance, with trusted autonomy, and an agility to deal with a time of unprecedented change.

Lord Jim Knight, former Schools Minister and Chief Education Officer, Times Education Supplement, UK

This wonderful book starts with the proposition that our central question is not whether educators can make a significant difference in the well-being and capabilities of the children we serve and the communities in which they live, but whether we are willing to do so. Our work as educators is urgent; every minute matters for our most school-dependent children. This book is a powerful reminder that getting better is something we do together.

Rebecca Holcombe, former Secretary of Education for Vermont
former Secretary of Education for Vermont

Hargreaves and O’Connor have written an extraordinary book explaining, deepening, and teaching us how to transform teaching and learning in schools. We learn how people collaborate in five different contexts and cultures across the globe. And we finally understand the important stages of building positive, trusting, thoughtful, and lasting collaborative professionalism with all its significant details.

Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar at Stanford University
Stanford University

Accessible and deep in equal measure. Collaborative Professionalism gives us vivid, creative designs for engaging in lasting collaboration. This is a book that will have the ear of teachers, teachers' leaders, and policy makers all over the world.

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus OISE/University of Toronto
OISE/University of Toronto

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ISBN: 9781506328157