A Self-Study of Factors Affecting the Collaboration Between University and School Professionals

A Self-Study of Factors Affecting the Collaboration Between University and School Professionals

Lucila T. Rudge (University of Montana, Missoula, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEPD.2018010102


Self-study research is aimed at making explicit the knowledge of practice gained through systematic investigation of one's professional practices. This self-study examines the collaborative practices between school and university professionals during the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate Program in a U.S. university. This article investigates the challenges encountered throughout the implementation of the program and the complexities of collaboration between school and university professionals. Six school professionals and one university professor (author) were involved in the collaboration. Analysis is focused primarily on the university professor's actions and disposition to collaboration through the perspectives of the school professionals. The determinants of successful collaboration—interactional, organizational, and systemic determinants, identified by Martin-Rodrigues et al. informed the analysis of this self-study.
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Theoretical Framework

There is not a consistent definition of collaboration across the literature. Definitions of collaboration often describe a wide range of working relationships, such as divided responsibilities, partnership in planning and teaching, co-planning, co-implementation, and co-evaluation, and sheared-decision making (Montiel-Overall, 2007). Friend and Cook (2000) defined collaboration as a “style for direct interaction between at least two-co-equal parties voluntarily engaged in shared-decision making as they work towards a common goal” (p.6). In teacher education, collaborative practices have been viewed as a means to improve teacher education practices and model collaboration to student teachers (Kluth & Straut, 2003; Villa, Thousand, & Chapple, 2000). Collaboration provides space and opportunity for members to reflect and learn from one another and gain knowledge around a shared practice. As Loughran (2006) points out, “sharing with and learning from one another offers meaningful ways of framing and reframing existing practice” (p.57). According to Martin and Dismuke (2015),

Collaboration of teacher educators through co-planning, co-teaching, and co-reflection-on-practice is a way for individuals to work across boundaries of their own knowledge, skills, and dispositions in dealing with the complexities and challenges of teaching. Working jointly with others on a common endeavor provides space and opportunity for each individual’s access to and reflection on other’s knowledge and information around a shared concern or practice (p. 5).

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