The collaborative school community Brownrigg, Celia Annesley Fraser
Educators who teach in a school setting are automatically members of a school community. Individuals may choose how they view themselves in relation to other members and in relation to the school community as a whole. The way community members view themselves directly influences their actions and reactions within the community, which in tum changes the nature and dynamic of the community. This paper examines the use of metaphor as a mediating tool for community membership and interaction. In the Western European tradition, knowledge is often represented as a tree; this paper offers the rhizome as an alternate metaphor structure. An ecological metaphor is highlighted as a constructive and sustainable metaphor and the concept of a school as an information ecology is discussed. This paper further identifies the actions and relationships that are inherent among members of a school as mediated with an ecological metaphor, specifically collaboration. A fictional case study of a collaborative teacher dyad is described and analyzed in order to illustrate the impact of teacher collaboration on the teachers directly involved as well as the community as a whole. The goal of this paper is to identify the elements of a constructive and sustainable community of practice. The choice of a rhizomatic metaphor, united with an openness to collaborative relationships enables the school community to become a true community of practice.
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