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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Collaborative cultures in public schools : A review and analysis Montgomery, Andrew David


Discussions within the literature on education have presented conflicting definitions of the term collaborative cultures. Nonetheless, a general sanctioning of teacher collaboration has predominated. With the intent of evaluating that advocacy and developing a better understanding of the notion itself (collaboration), this study examines collaborative relationships in public schools. Specifically, an analysis of the literature has been undertaken to comprehend more fully collaborative associations between teachers, and teachers and administrators. The many conceptual notions of collegiality and collaboration were considered when choosing a method of analysis, and an attempt was made to identify recurrent themes within the literature. The following were felt to be most prominent: cultural requirements of collegiality, structural requirements of collegiality, curriculum development and evaluation, instructional innovation, and conceptual models of teaching. The frequency with which researchers have discussed collaborative teaching prompted a number of queries, including those concerning teacher development. This study set out to answer the following questions: 1. What behaviours define collaboration? 2. How do conceptions of collaboration found in the literature compare? 3. Is collaboration a behavioural goal (end) or a means to some other purpose(s), or, is it an indicator of the effectiveness of personnel practices? 4. Is collaboration a meaningless slogan, or, behaviour worth dedicating sparse educational resources towards? The findings include those that indicate the term collaborative cultures is often employed as a catch phrase. However, they also show that teacher collaboration holds significant promise for educational practice. As well, collaboration may be a frequently ignored but valuable tool for educational reform.

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