Reflection: Opportunities for collaboration
Updated: May 8
I have recently come across Eschler’s (2016) study of the collaboration behaviours of Finnish teachers – I found it was a great read. Eschler’s (2016) findings support the ascertain that the quality and effectiveness of Finnish teachers has greatly contributed to Finland’s educational success (p. 14). Ultimately, he found that Finnish teachers have two common principles that have contributed to their success; collaboration and autonomy. Regarding collaboration, Finnish teachers demonstrate three collaboration behaviours; sharing information and knowledge, planning, and problem-solving (Eschler, 2016). Out of his study, 95% of teachers indicated that they engaged in all three of these behaviours and teachers believed these to be interconnected (Eschler, 2016). His conclusions indicate that teachers engage in both formal and informal collaboration structures and collaborate in a variety of ways for different purposes. Teachers are also not confined to collaboration just within their departments. Effective collaboration occurs across the school and with and between most teachers.
Many other articles have also posited the importance of student and teacher autonomy in enhancing outcomes and education systems.
The Guardian: How Finnish schools shine
Forbes: Finland offers lessons for building student, teacher autonomy
So, my thoughts on collaboration:
What possibilities could arise for collaboration between teachers and teacher librarian?
The need for PD and shared learning to stay abreast of new pedagogical approaches and/or technology.
Planning and reflecting on programs.
Setting short and long-term goals for departments and wider school community.
Organising school events e.g. Literature Festival and/or book fare.
Organising guest speakers and other events.
In what ways could I begin to develop collaboration with teachers in my school?
Work with teachers to develop inquiry units of work.
Work with teachers to develop teaching and assessment material; including, Assignment Help Pages, source sheets, collaborative group work activities.
Offer PD opportunities for teachers.
Work with Learning Enrichment teachers to develop strategies that assist student learning; including digital support such as, text-to-speech software and Learning Tools in OneNote.
Eschler, B. H. (2016). Finnish teacher collaboration: The behaviors, learning, and formality of teacher collaboration.