In this booklet, Chris Smith argues that if schools are to lead the way in redesigning schooling – as this series contends they must – it is down to them to create and operate a truly collaborative culture enabled through networks. Assessing the evidence so far on the role of collaboration in education, Chris observes that the evidence indicates strongly (more so than may currently be realised) that it can be a powerful driver of school improvement. But to harness the as-yet-untapped potential – and avoid the pitfalls – schools will need to genuinely understand and leverage the structures, complexities and dynamics of the different types of collaboration and networking. To help schools do this, he explores the characteristics of networks, the critical role of collaboration in innovation and suggests a framework for collaboration.
Redesigning Schooling is a series of booklets that challenges schools to improve practice and innovate for change in every aspect of the system. The six-part series is designed to help identify the big questions in education, look at lessons from other systems and shape the debate on how we can make our education system world class.
With Redesigning Schooling, educators are urged to consider best practice in six areas of schooling: teaching and learning; student impact; parental engagement; curriculum design; assessment design; and collaboration between schools. The ideas and approaches put forward in the series can be adopted at an individual or school level. In each book, educators are encouraged to make choices based on the courage of their convictions about what is right for their learners and to spread their ideas across their networks and beyond.