Collaboration: Ideas from Many Voices, Part 1


Collaboration is an important global competency that students need to learn and refine. By the time they enter any post-secondary experience, students with over 10-12 years of honing this skill will be well prepared to forge ahead with new learning and career paths. They will seek out mentors and build strong networks of people with whom they learn, develop ideas, design, and reflect.

How do we ensure that each succeeding generation develop collaboration as part of their core global competencies? Here is the first of a long list of voices who provide deep insights for such an important journey.

  1. Edutopia: Schools That Work: “The Power of Collaborative Learning” Here’s how one school approaches the practice of collaboration with students.
  2. Edutopia index on Collaborative Learning – Find a collection of blogs, videos, and discussions regarding this valuable topic.
  3. Finding Time for Collaboration by Education Leadership – Time is always a commodity that educators struggle with. When it comes to the debate of quality learning, collaboration can be an essential part of learning.
  4. Why collaboration is vital to creating effective schools by the Washington Post is about adult collaboration. It sites research on how collaboration is integral to successful schools and districts. In our efforts to develop collaboration skills in our students, we must not lose site that model and honing our own collaboration skills are necessary if we hope to effectively coach students.
  5. The Mediation Protocol is a set of guidelines used to coach students on how to address problems within their work teams. The intent of the protocol is to empower students to deal with team problems with professionalism and an eye towards resolutions that strengthen the team.

Which resources resonate with you? Comment below or Tweet me @JMcCarthyeds More to come.


    • Claire Murray on July 7, 2015 at 10:49 am
    • Reply

    I’m glad you wrote about collaboration. It is such an important skill and one that many schools do not give sufficient time or effort to developing. Students attending schools that develop this skill reap the benefits for many years to come.

    • Erin Gannon on July 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm
    • Reply

    The pieces on The College Preparatory School highlight some pretty impressive work. It’s helpful to know what students will/can do at that level so we can provide them with opportunities to develop those skills. Best to start this emphasis as early as possible! Even as a third grade teacher, I have seen huge differences in students in terms of collaborative skill.

    This article offers some specific ideas about teaching collaboration along with communication in elementary school.

    I like the list that is included…
    Social Skills of Cooperative Groups
    1. Encourage- Ask questions of others.
    2. Listen-Use eye contact, respond to comments, and ask questions to show you are listening.
    3. Allow for different perspectives- Be flexible and open-minded.
    4. Take turns- Don’t dominate.
    5. Do your share
    6. Be a team player- work for the good of the group.

    Whether or not you put these on cards as the author suggests, I think it is important to revisit these qualities often when young students are working together. We talk a lot about this in my classroom.

    Thank for all the great resources John! I’ve already tagged a few to use with my grade level team when we start up the new school year.

    1. Thanks Erin,

      Appreciate your thoughts on these ideas. It’s great to get your added details 🙂

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