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Nurturing collaborative partnerships

Schools are continuing to connect and collaborate together (clusters, CoLs and Kāhui Ako) to address common goals; and focus on children and young people's learning pathways to help them achieve their full potential. Collaboration wordartThis process involves a whole change in learning culture, so that shared goals are achieved within, across and beyond schools/kura, rather than individual school goals being addressed in silos. It's about meeting the needs of all learners across networked communities.

In all of these communities, collaborative relationships and partnerships been established and processes for collaborative professional inquiry have been strengthenedSome of the key themes of success include; relationships, collective wisdom and partnerships.

In the NZEI video below, Mark Potter Principal, Berhampore School talks about the key areas/phases of collaboration in a CoL - Forming relationships, developing collective purpose, planning for change and collective action, with an emphasis on 'taking time' to do this well. 

Some of the key challenges identified with planning for change and taking collective action (as a collaborative endeavour) include:

  • Building the relational trust within and between schools
  • Understanding a theory of change
  • Understanding a collective, shared purpose for student achievement, common focus areas 
  • Fulfilling effective leadership roles in a culture of change
  • Consistency and transparency around goal setting
  • Ensuring all teachers and leaders have buy-in and ownership of progress 
  • Effective communication skills to share knowledge, expertise and create partnerships with the wider learning community
  • Increased evaluative capability through professional inquiry practices (collaborative inquiry)

Examples of success

November 20th, 2018 TeachMeetNZ hosted a sharing session with Across School Leaders in Auckland Central Community of Schools (ACCoS). During this insightful session, teachers shared; their foci, how they have strengthened teacher practice, processes for inquiry (links to research) and key shifts and learning so far. Sonya Van Schaijik facilitated this session and has since linked to each inquiry (literacy, numeracy, teacher agency, student agency, transitioning between schools) in the following video in the ACCOS blog. Some key observations include how, ...collaboration has come to the fore, collaborative practice and theory have become more visible and meaningful in our initiative... 

In Talanoathis Enabling e-Learning snapshot of learning, Collaborative inquiry using Talanoa – A communication process, Porirua East schools share how they have used Talanoa framework and Spirals of Inquiry to collaboratively support their teachers in changing their practice; to raise achievement for target students. This snapshot breaks down the processes, and highlights some early signs of impact for both teachers and students.


Some more rich examples of 'co teaching' and learning can also be seen from Grow Waitaha – Collaborative teaching and learning. Grow Waitaha is a networked initiative designed to support schools to achieve pedagogical change in a meaningful and manageable way. Their examples of shift and change are powerful, as they in turn ask us to reflect on,

  • What benefits does collaborative teaching and learning practice provide for your learners? For teachers?
  • How do you know what the impact of collaborative teaching and learning is on your students? 
  • How does your school provide support, time and resources for effective collaboration? 

Collaborative Inquiry

If you want to know more about collaborative Inquiry, you can easily catch up with Rebbecca Sweeney in our Webinar recording: What is collaborative inquiry? Part of this original thread, What is collaborative inquiry? The Collaboration framework (CORE Education) also provides some key components to unpack and pātai to address as a self-review tool, when building collaborative culture of change - especially when multiple organisations are involved.

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