Erin Nerlino is entering her tenth year teaching high school English language arts a public, regional school in the Northeast, U.S. She is also a doctoral candidate in Boston University's Curriculum and Teaching program.
As top-down mandates regarding what collaboration should look like continue to evolve from the policy level, it is critical to engage the knowledge of teachers – the ones experiencing the collaboration – to inform teacher learning as well as the conditions within schools that help productive collaboration partnerships to evolve. This article seeks to examine the foundational aspects that underpin a mutually productive collaborative relationship between myself – a full time high school English teacher – and another full-time English teacher at the public, regional school in the Northeast where we taught. Utilizing a participant research design, I drew upon audio-recorded dialogue of meetings we had to plan out curriculum and instruction while teaching during the 2020-2021 school year. Findings include that while conflict and disagreement play an important role, agreement around philosophical beliefs that get at common purposes of teaching and learning as well as a commitment to joint work are essential to the facilitation of actions such as suggesting new ideas, considering alternate viewpoints, and embracing conflict that enable progress. Such actions yielded critical reflection on past practice and change to current and/or future practice.
"Shared Philosophies, Conflict, and Critical Reflection: Developing Productive Teacher Collaboration,"
Journal of Practitioner Research: Vol. 8
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jpr/vol8/iss1/2