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Leading Collaborative Learning
Empowering Excellence

Foreword by Jim Knight, Introduction by John Hattie, and Afterword by Michael Fullan



© 2016 | 320 pages | Corwin

Leadership, collaborative learning, and student achievement – discover what works!

Today’s improving school systems require educators who intentionally collaborate and co-learn in service of students to get expected results. This resource-rich book from experts Sharratt and Planche is a straightforward, strategic path to achieving sustainable communities of deep learners. Research-proven inquiry techniques, vignettes, case studies and practical action-oriented protocols help you build strong learning relationships for high-impact student achievement.

System leaders, principals and teachers learn to: 

  • Integrate diverse views and perspectives
  • Build trust and hear every voice
  • Apply a replicable inquiry framework to leverage key resources and processes
  • Build students’ cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills 
  • Use “Assessment-in-Action” to improve, monitor and sustain student and staff progress 
  • Build a collaborative culture through learning together

Use this guide to transform your school from a place of ‘good intentions’ to a center of intentional practice today!

“Is your school ready to learn to meet student needs as a team? If so, Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is the book to help your staff learn together in order to improve student learning.”
Renee Peoples, Teaching and Learning Coach
West Elementary, NC


“This is more than just another book on school leadership or school improvement. Collaborative learning is essential for success, and educators working in any capacity can find information here about how their role contributes to the process. From system leaders to school leaders to teachers to students, this book clearly explains the necessity of everyone’s participation in collaborative learning processes. As the authors state, participation in collaboration “is a powerful way to deepen educator capacity, to increase the value of the professional capital in the school, and to harness the power of the collective.”
Melanie Mares Sainz, Instructional Coach
Lowndes Middle School, VA


 
List of Figures and Tables
 
Foreword by Jim Knight
 
Introduction by John Hattie
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1. Leading Collaborative Learning
Moving to Excellence  
Guided by Research  
Definitions Set the Stage  
How We Lead Matters  
Our Research  
Broad Themes Emerging From the Research  
Collaborative Learning Cultivates Leadership  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 2. From Theory Into Action
Conditions for System Success  
Constructivism Frames Our Approach to Inquiry  
Collaborative Learning Is Our Approach to Leading  
Translating Our Theory of Action Into Four Practical Elements  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 3. System Leaders Working Alongside School Leaders
The Importance of System Leadership  
Leadership With Attitude: From Collegiality to Co-Learning  
Preparing Leaders to Lead Learning  
Structures That Drive Learning  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 4. School Leaders Working Alongside Teacher-Leaders
Leadership for Student Achievement and Collaborative Learning  
Five Dimensions of Leadership  
Contextual Factors That Build Collaboration  
Using Leadership Influence  
Practical First Steps Enabling Collaborative Inquiry  
The Strong Case for Accomplished Teacher-Leaders in Every School  
Data That Matter  
When Time Is an Issue, a System Leader or Principal Might . . .  
Voices From the Field: A Case Study  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
A Pause for Reflection  
 
Chapter 5. Teachers Working Alongside Teachers
Unstructured and Structured Collaboration  
Changing the “What” in Learning Conversations  
Learning Protocols as Scaffolds to Successful Collaborative Inquiry  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
A Pause for Reflection  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
 
Chapter 6. Teachers and Students Working Alongside Each Other
Teaching Is Evolving  
What’s the Difference? Cooperative Learning, Collaborative Learning, and Co-Learning  
Authentic Collaborative Learning Matters  
Teachers as Stewards  
Personalization and Differentiation Matters  
Classroom Inquiry-Based Learning: A Timely Approach  
Student-Led Learning Walks  
Applying Our Theory of Action  
A Pause for Reflection  
Our Culminating Event  
The Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning  
 
Afterword by Michael Fullan
 
Appendices
Appendix A. Survey Questions  
Appendix B. A Protocol to Establish Norms of Engagement  
Appendix C. Inhibiting and Enabling Conditions for Collaboration  
Appendix D. Sample Collaborative Discussion Protocol  
Appendix E. Benefits and Challenges of Networked Learning Communities  
Appendix F. Guiding Questions for Leaders in the Establishment of a School Leadership Team  
Appendix G. A Professional Learning Protocol: Sharing Student Work as a Driver for Co-Learning for Three to Four Participants  
Appendix H. A Protocol for the Process of Co-Learning With and Without Release Time  
Appendix I. Practical Beginnings to Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning  
Appendix J. Assessment Within Inquiry Processes  
 
The Book Study
 
Glossary
 
References and Further Readings
 
Index

“Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is the definitive source for your comprehensive step by step implementation of collaborative learning.  This book belongs on every educator’s desk.”

Mike Greenwood, District Teacher Leader,
Windsor Public Schools, CT

“Is your school ready to learn to meet student needs as a team? If so, Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is the book to help your staff learn together in order to improve student learning.”

Renee Peoples, Teaching and Learning Coach
West Elementary, NC

“I think the particular strength of this book is that it addresses something that is quite difficult to do, but easy to talk about—that is, establishing a collaborative culture of inquiry in a school.  So many leaders talk about collaboration, but then lead by telling.  This book helps leaders who may not have had the best leadership models themselves “see” what it looks like to “co-labor” (a turn of the phrase that is particularly welcome and illustrative, in my opinion) in a school setting for the good of teachers and kids.”

Jo Beth Jimerson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership
Texas Christian University

“This is more than just another book on school leadership or school improvement. Collaborative learning is essential for success, and educators working in any capacity can find information here about how their role contributes to the process. From system leaders to school leaders to teachers to students, this book clearly explains the necessity of everyone’s participation in collaborative learning processes. As the authors state, participation in collaboration “is a powerful way to deepen educator capacity, to increase the value of the professional capital in the school, and to harness the power of the collective.”

Melanie Mares Sainz, Instructional Coach
Lowndes Middle School, VA

"This exceptional book is a rich and practical resource for leaders who realize the power of working together to improve schools. In a system where collaborative practices are the norm, student achievement and well-being becomes a shared responsibility. Deeper learning is maximized for everyone."

Joanne Robinson, Director of Professional Learning, & Linda Massey, Associate Director of Professional Learning
Education Leadership Canada
Key features

We recommend using a simple inquiry cycle as a learning frame that is replicable at the district, school, or classroom levels and we demonstrate that an inquiry stance requires collaborative, non-judgmental co-analysis and co-learning opportunities. We further outline the actions that leaders must consider to mobilize learning and sustain progress. The research that supports this book is developed from the work of Darling-Hammond, Knight, and especially John Hattie.

 

Each school as a strong community of learners evolves by building trust, sharing responsibility, and establishing high expectations for all learners – professionals and students alike. This is not unlike Hattie’s (2012, p. 6) discussion of 8 Mind Frames. The last one is especially critical here in relation to our work: “I am passionate about and promote the language of learning.”


This is not a theoretical piece but is very practical, offers plenty of examples and a model of action.  Show
Chapter Two where the authors discuss their theory of action with its four elements which are: Assessing to Plan effectively, Planning to Act purposely, Acting to Make Sense thoughtfully and Making Sense of our work continually to Refine our practice and to Learn collaboratively.


The interviews will also yield rich examples for use and analysis.

Foreword by Jim Knight


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ISBN: 9781483368979

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