Collaboration

The School of Education embraces the philosophy that preparing and supporting high-quality educators is a collaborative process that requires sustained dialogue between relevant parties at all levels of our future practitioners' academic and professional lives. We believe that our graduates should not only have a desire for collaboration, but should also strive to develop within their schools collaborative learning communities that are socially just, and intellectually and aesthetically rich.

We recognize that collaboration is not easily achieved across organizational boundaries, cultural differences, professional roles and other asymmetrical power and status relations. Yet it is through forging collaborative bonds that we achieve our best in teaching and learning at all levels, and achieve professional growth while challenging others as well as ourselves. Therefore, we encourage the practice of collaboration in all our pedagogical and administrative practices, and in the provision of related services, while we work with all constituencies within and beyond school contexts to forge strong professional connections and common objectives for action, research and teaching.

Research demonstrates the connection between the preparation of educators and the achievement of their own students (Darling-Hammond & Ball, 1998; Sanders & Horn, 1994). We work with all our partners to identify, acquire and demonstrate the specific knowledge, skills and sensibilities that we anticipate as outcomes for teacher candidates and other school personnel in our programs. One of the best ways to achieve these goals is to model collaborative practices ourselves. Whether we are working with our colleagues at Brooklyn College, our partners in schools, school districts and communities, or policy makers and representatives at the state and local level, the faculty in the School of Education believes active collaboration improves outcomes for all involved. Our use of technology enhances our capacity to strengthen the alliances we have with all of these groups. Through collaboration we seek to improve the preparation of educators, improve teaching and learning in our institution and in the local schools, and, most important, foster the intellectual and emotional well-being of those students with whom our graduates work.

We are committed to sustaining and expanding the conversations with all those who are central in the preparation of our graduates, because we believe that such collaboration enhances educators' abilities to enrich the lives of students in a variety of educational settings. Faculty in the School of Education initiates and maintains conversations with the college's liberal arts and sciences faculty. Well-established partnerships extend to our schools and school districts (Avinger & Tighe, 1994; Mantle-Bromley, 1998; Sandholtz & Finan,1998; Saunders, 1998), community organizations (Smith & Thomases, 2001), cultural institutions, parent groups (Comer et. al, 1996; Phillips et al, 2000), professional organizations and the business community. Understanding full well the importance of policy in shaping educational practices, faculty have attempted to collaborate with policy makers and to help teacher candidates and other school personnel understand and participate in the formulation of educational policy. We are committed to working with all groups, not only to help shape educational policies, but also so we can better help future educators develop professionally.

Performances

  1. Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to involve themselves in students' lives by collaborating with families, teachers, administrators and support staff, by participating in a wide variety of team building activities in schools, and by developing connections to relevant community groups, agencies and other professionals that support educational efforts.
  2. Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to establish respectful and consistent relationships with families from diverse communities and seek to develop cooperative and reciprocal relationships with families in support of student learning and well-being.
  3. Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to contribute to and benefit from new knowledge in their disciplines by participating in professional organizations and professional meetings.
  4. Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to use and learn from multiple community resources to foster student learning and well-being.
  5. Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to work in collaboration in the development and implementation of curriculum, instruction practices and evaluation of student learning and teaching.
  6. Our teacher candidates and other school personnel are prepared to create classrooms that foster opportunities for student collaboration, thereby enhancing student learning and social development.

Bibliography

Avinger, C. and M.A. Tighe (1994). "Partnerships that work: Toward effective collaboration for in-service education." Educational Horizons 72: 170–75.

Comer, J., N. Haynes, E. Joyner and M. Ben-Avie (1996). Rallying the Whole Village: the Comer Process for Reforming Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Darling-Hammond, L. and L. Ball (1998). Teaching for high standards: What policy makers need to know and be able to do. Philadelphia: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future and Consortium for Policy research in Education.

Mantle-Bromley, C. (1998). "'A day in the life' at a professional development school." Educational Leadership 55.5: 48–51.

Phillips, C., J.F. Prue, S.B. Hasazi and P. Morgan (2000). "Personal learning plans: Building collaboration among teachers, students with disabilities and their parents." NASSP Bulletin 84: 28-34.

Sanders, W.L. and S.P. Horn (1994). "The Tennessee value aided assessment system: Mixed-model methodology in educational assessment." Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education 8: 229–313.

Sandholtz, J. H. and E.C. Finan (1998). "Blurring the boundaries to promote school-university partnerships." Journal of Teacher Education 49: 13–15.

Saunders, L. (1998). "Learning together." Thrust for Educational Leadership 28: 18–21.