Leading Collaborative Learning
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Leading Collaborative Learning
Empowering Excellence

Foreword by Jim Knight, Introduction by John Hattie, and Afterword by Michael Fullan



© 2016 | 320 pages | Corwin

Leadership, collaborative learning, and student achievement – discover what works!

Today’s improving school systems require educators who intentionally collaborate and co-learn in service of students to get expected results. This resource-rich book from experts Sharratt and Planche is a straightforward, strategic path to achieving sustainable communities of deep learners. Research-proven inquiry techniques, vignettes, case studies and practical action-oriented protocols help you build strong learning relationships for high-impact student achievement.

System leaders, principals and teachers learn to: 

  • Integrate diverse views and perspectives
  • Build trust and hear every voice
  • Apply a replicable inquiry framework to leverage key resources and processes
  • Build students’ cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills 
  • Use “Assessment-in-Action” to improve, monitor and sustain student and staff progress 
  • Build a collaborative culture through learning together

Use this guide to transform your school from a place of ‘good intentions’ to a center of intentional practice today!

“Is your school ready to learn to meet student needs as a team? If so, Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is the book to help your staff learn together in order to improve student learning.”
Renee Peoples, Teaching and Learning Coach
West Elementary, NC


“This is more than just another book on school leadership or school improvement. Collaborative learning is essential for success, and educators working in any capacity can find information here about how their role contributes to the process. From system leaders to school leaders to teachers to students, this book clearly explains the necessity of everyone’s participation in collaborative learning processes. As the authors state, participation in collaboration “is a powerful way to deepen educator capacity, to increase the value of the professional capital in the school, and to harness the power of the collective.”
Melanie Mares Sainz, Instructional Coach
Lowndes Middle School, VA


 
List of Figures and Tables
 
Foreword by Jim Knight
 
Introduction by John Hattie
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1. Leading Collaborative Learning
Moving to Excellence  
Guided by Research  
Definitions Set the Stage  
How We Lead Matters  
Our Research  
Broad Themes Emerging From the Research  
Collaborative Learning Cultivates Leadership  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 2. From Theory Into Action
Conditions for System Success  
Constructivism Frames Our Approach to Inquiry  
Collaborative Learning Is Our Approach to Leading  
Translating Our Theory of Action Into Four Practical Elements  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 3. System Leaders Working Alongside School Leaders
The Importance of System Leadership  
Leadership With Attitude: From Collegiality to Co-Learning  
Preparing Leaders to Lead Learning  
Structures That Drive Learning  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 4. School Leaders Working Alongside Teacher-Leaders
Leadership for Student Achievement and Collaborative Learning  
Five Dimensions of Leadership  
Contextual Factors That Build Collaboration  
Using Leadership Influence  
Practical First Steps Enabling Collaborative Inquiry  
The Strong Case for Accomplished Teacher-Leaders in Every School  
Data That Matter  
When Time Is an Issue, a System Leader or Principal Might . . .  
Voices From the Field: A Case Study  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 5. Teachers Working Alongside Teachers
Unstructured and Structured Collaboration  
Changing the “What” in Learning Conversations  
Learning Protocols as Scaffolds to Successful Collaborative Inquiry  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
A Pause for Reflection  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
 
Chapter 6. Teachers and Students Working Alongside Each Other
Teaching Is Evolving  
What’s the Difference? Cooperative Learning, Collaborative Learning, and Co-Learning  
Authentic Collaborative Learning Matters  
Teachers as Stewards  
Personalization and Differentiation Matters  
Classroom Inquiry-Based Learning: A Timely Approach  
Student-Led Learning Walks  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
A Pause for Reflection  
Our Culminating Event  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
 
Afterword by Michael Fullan
 
Appendices
Appendix A. Survey Questions  
Appendix B. A Protocol to Establish Norms of Engagement  
Appendix C. Inhibiting and Enabling Conditions for Collaboration  
Appendix D. Sample Collaborative Discussion Protocol  
Appendix E. Benefits and Challenges of Networked Learning Communities  
Appendix F. Guiding Questions for Leaders in the Establishment of a School Leadership Team  
Appendix G. A Professional Learning Protocol: Sharing Student Work as a Driver for Co-Learning for Three to Four Participants  
Appendix H. A Protocol for the Process of Co-Learning With and Without Release Time  
Appendix I. Practical Beginnings to Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning  
Appendix J. Assessment Within Inquiry Processes  
 
The Book Study
 
Glossary
 
References and Further Readings
 
Index

"This valuable resource explains clearly and persuasively why collaborative learning really is a good idea. It challenges you to reflect deeply on your current collaborations, and offers helpful definitions, examples and tools, whatever your role in the system. A great read!"

Dr. Louise Stoll, Professor of Professional Learning
University College London Institute of Education

"Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is a timely, important and compelling call to collective action and professional agency. It reminds us that teachers working together on real issues of learning and teaching can be a powerful catalyst for change. This is a must read book for anyone interested in securing and sustaining authentic school and system improvement."

Alma Harris, Director, Institute of Educational Leadership
University of Malaya, Malaysia

"Good collaboration, collaborative skills and behaviors increasingly are critical to our success in teaching and learning, and in the organization of education. Leading Collaborative Learning provides analysis and roadmaps for understanding, building and developing collaboration in the work of schools and setting the stage for deeper learning. It builds on evidence from the field and points to actions we can take to strengthen collaboration. It is an important contribution, a good read with intriguing ideas for us each to reflect upon." 

Gavin Dykes, Chair and Co-Founder
Education Fast Forward

"Lyn Sharratt and Beate Planche not only highlight the power of collaboration they go further to identify the key narratives to which this collective needs to attend.  Their notion of collaborative learning involves systems and school leaders building collective capacity, energizing knowledge together, and moving schools from being places of “plans and good intentions” to centers of “purposeful practice” on the part of all teachers who then empower students to do the same.  Who does not want to part of such a school?"


From the Introduction by John Hattie, Laureate Professor, Director
Melbourne Education Research Institute

"The major strength of the text addresses two points: the opportunity to really connect the need to engage in collaborative processes as a way to improve schools, and the way in which that same learning assists teachers in developing similar processes in their classrooms with students."

Chad Ransom, Director of Second Language Services
Teton County School District

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ISBN: 9781483368979