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The shared work of learning

May 15, 2015

In 'The shared work of learning: Lifting educational achievement through collaboration' report, authors Tom Bentley and Ciannon Cazaly demonstrate why collaboration is poised to deliver the next big wave of gains in education. Collaboration – the sharing of effort, knowledge and resources in the pursuit of shared goals – is created through a wide range of flexible, trust-based relationships.

Bentley and Cazaly define seven key features of collaboration for learning which explain the positive impact of collaboration. These are:

  1. Shared purpose: The strength of commitment to student learning is a distinguishing feature in case study schools.
  2. Combining longevity and energy in staffing: All case study schools showed a distinctive combination of long-serving senior teachers with younger, newer staff.
  3. Collaborative leadership: Schools displayed sustained leadership commitment to growing collaboration in ways that further a coherent direction for schools and communities.
  4. Community trust, professional trust: All sites invested significant time in building trust and social capital among both professionals and their wider communities.
  5. Drawing on external expertise: All the case study schools reached out to find and draw on specialist knowledge to build up the skills and effectiveness of their own teams.
  6. Permeable boundaries: Schools maintained clear structures and routines that were also open to wider ideas, people and contributions.
  7. Co-evolution of wellbeing and attainment: All case study schools work to create a positive long term relationship between wellbeing and attainment.

More information may also be found on the Mitchell Institute website.


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