Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Collaboration: Staying on the Bandwagon

Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Collaboration: Staying on the Bandwagon

Article excerpt

Collaboration is one of many bandwagons in the parade of educational reform rhetoric. The Journal of Teacher Education (Ashton, 1992) devoted an issue to the topic of partners in school restructuring in which collaboration was an inherent theme. In school restructuring, writers often see collaboration as either a conduit for educational reform (West, 1990) or a critical component of the change process (Fullan, 1993).

Collaboration is in the dialogue on creating communities and cultures of professional teachers. In these settings, writers see teachers as leaders who collaborate with each other (Lieberman, Saxl, & Miles, 1988). Teachers' roles will evolve to include becoming problem solvers, change agents and collaborators (Darling-Hammond, Bullmaster, & Cobb, 1995). Collaboration reflects the notion of the school as a community (Sergiovanni, 1994; Wehlage, Rutter, Smith, Lesko, & Fernandez, 1989) characterized as opportunities for one-on-one interactions based on common values and expectations, commitment toward interpersonal caring and support to promote meaningful education, and organization structures allowing and fostering opportunities for colleagues to meet and work together (Louis & Kruse, 1995). The word community derives from the Latin word communis meaning common or sharing.

Collaboration between higher education and public education agencies has gained attention as a way to create effective field-based teacher education programs (Darling-Hammond et al., 1995). Schools and universities have developed and implemented a number of successful models (Fountain & Evans, 1994; Starlings & Dybdahl, 1994; Welch, Sheridan, Wilson, Colton, & Mayhew, 1996). The growing number of standards from professional organizations mandating partnerships and opportunities for preprofessionals to develop collaborative skills reflects the importance of collaboration between public and higher education. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards mandate collaboration among higher education faculty, school personnel, and other education professionals to design effective preprofessional preparation programs to improve the quality of education in schools (NCATE, 1995). The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)'s comprehensive survey suggests the need for redesigning state policies encouraging greater collaboration between teacher preparation programs and state education agencies (Yff, 1996). The Holmes Group (1995) espouses the creation of schools and professional preparation programs in which preprofessionals and professionals can work together. Collaboration is one of five elements in a core of knowledge all educators (Holmes Group, 1995). The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) developed a guide for developing educational partnerships that defines collaboration and describes steps for creating collaborative partnerships (Tushnet, 1993). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), a professional organization in special education, recognizes the need for partnerships between higher education and public education. The CEC has included collaboration in its professional standards as a necessary component and skill in its common core of knowledge (CEC, 1995).

Some (Pugach & Johnson, 1995) mention collaboration in terms of serving students with special needs, including students culturally or ethnically different as well as students with disabilities. A growing number of students are at risk for academic failure because they do not fit the dominant Euro-American culture of schools (Natriello, McDill, & Pallas, 1990). Welch and Sheridan (1995) suggest that no single agency can meet the needs of an increasing number of children and youth with various educational, social, and medical problems and at risk of not succeeding in school or in society. Thus, a growing need for educators to collaborate with others within the school (Welch & Sheridan, 1995) and with social and health agencies outside the school (Bucci & Reitzammer, 1992) exists. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.