In the litany of research that is out there about the importance of schools becoming professional learning communities (just a few listed below), and what we are hearing in terms of collaboration being a 21st Century skill that we must teach (and model, I might add) to students, I still am puzzled as to why it has taken so long for this concept to catch on.
I was so pleased to hear that districts in New Brunswick have taken this very seriously (see http://umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/articles/williamsspraguesullivanbrien.html). I think that they have hit it on the head by hitting this head on. I think their courage in this area is something that I would love to see all districts follow--they have valued the collaborative process with more than just lip service.
I think we could all take a lesson from New Brunswick when it comes to creating a collaborative learning environment.
DuFour Burnette, R, Eaker, R, Many, T (2006). Solution Tree. pp.95-97.
Posnick-Goodwin, Sherry (2007). CTA (California Teachers Association). November. Volume 12, Issue 3 retrieved on 2/4/2008 from http://www.cta.org/media/publications/educator/archives/2007/1107_feat_01.htm.
McKelvy, Earline, Thompson, Sue .Middle Ground. Volume 10. Number 3,pg12-14. Retrieved on 11/29/07 from http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/MiddleGround/Articles.
Olverson, Tyrone L., Ritchey, Sandra (2007). Staff Development Council of Ohio. SDCO Fall Professional Newsletter No. 5, December .
Mednick, Amy (2004). 'Conversations' Center for Collaborative Education. Volume 4 (2) Spring 2004.
Honawar, Vaishali (2008). Education Weekly. April 2. Vol. 27, Issue 31, Pages 25-27. Retrieved on 4/3 at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/04/02/31plc_ep.h27.html?print=1.