One of the patterns I am going to look at and explore is collaboration. Cheryl Doig on her blog ‘Think Beyond’ has this to say about collaboration,
“It is the work we do to understand ourselves that is at the heart of all collaboration. Any collaborative endeavours must start with supporting individual reflection.”(“Cheryl DoigThink Beyond,” n.d.)
There are many different aspects to collaboration: Organisational Collaboration is where everyone is working together toward a shared goal. Senior management, middle management, and teachers work together and share a vision and values of the school. All staff here at RBHS work as a team and are committed to a single outcome. The school goal was to remove the disparity in educational achievement between Maori and non-Maori. The catalyst for this change came from the principal who had a clear vision of how we were going to reach this goal. The implementation of the TeKotahitanga program at our school enabled us to focus on changing the school structure and efficiently support our teachers in this endeavour.
Collaboration continues to take place on a daily basis between the staff within my faculty and myself in which we share ideas, thoughts and examples of best practice. This open type of collaboration ultimately supports teachers to improve Māori students’ learning and achievement, enabling my staff to create a culturally responsive context for learning which relates to student performance.
Through the TeKotahitanga program as teachers, we have learned to model collaborative learning through creating classrooms that are more student-centred learning (Sole classroom). And through collaboration with our students, we find ourselves been able to facilitate the learning experience, rather than to teach in the traditional sense.
Collaboration also exists with outside agencies and the wider community which serve to help improve student’s educational achievement. Academic review day is one example of how whanau involvement contributes to the successful operation of our school and ultimately to positive learning outcomes for our students.
2nd trend: Online Learning / Virtual schools Collaborating with students online with personalized learning programs is a reality of the future. To some extent we already participate in this by using google classroom / flipped classroom in our teaching, and with the integration of iPads at year 9.
“Students will drive the collaboration movement forward through peer projects, virtual study groups, and self-directed learning via their personal networks” (“Three Social Trends That Will Influence Education in 2014 | Online Learning Insights on WordPress.com,” n.d.)
Within the last year we have already seen some students selecting the classes they want to attend, and continuing their studies on other subjects through online learning. This type of learning may well become the norm for the future and traditional teaching as we now know it will become a thing of the past. At RBHS, we have already created blended learning environments for our students. The Sole classroom is reinventing the way students learn. Earlier today I had the opportunity to see first-hand how the students engage with each other in the Sole classroom. The teacher organized and facilitated a meaningful inquiry-based project in which the students had participated in a week earlier. The students choose who they wanted to work with, then collaborated to collate the information they had acquired and then presented their findings to the whole class. Providing an excellent example of teaching and learning through inquiry allowing the students to become more autonomous in their learning.
Doig, C. (n.d.). Leadership Thinking for the Future. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.thinkbeyond.co.nz/
Three Social Trends That Will Influence Education in 2014 | Online Learning Insights on WordPress.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/three-social-trends-that-will-influence-education-in-2014/