Anecdotally at least, teachers are likely to learn when they interact with other teachers. The process of mentoring, coaching and feedback are powerful strategies for empowering and enabling teachers.
Never before have we needed more intellectual rigour as our schools respond to the challenges of a national curriculum, 21st century pedagogies and a mercurial education agenda. This is not helped at all by a distinct policy gap from all forms of state and federal governments. Policy devoid of an understanding of the nature of teaching will always fail, as the past so eloquently attests.
This rigour is enhanced by the practice of collaboration – teachers providing each other with mutual support, encouragement and reflective dialogue to continually improve the quality of learning and teaching. This has to be the core of education policy initiatives.
When I think of teacher collaboration, I am reminded of Jim Collins’ flywheel principle. As more teachers engage in collaboration, we see greater ownership of the learning agenda. It is the power of the group to work together to identify the needs of the community, set and evaluate its own goals and resource accordingly.
One of our primary teachers talks here about the practice of collaboration and teacher-learning within an agile learning space.