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Is school collaboration really a good idea?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Problem is, like anything else, this is a balance. It has a cost and a benefit.

    The cost is the time and effort put into the collaboration. If you have two different schools you are going to have two different systems. You have to find common ground, you have to form relationships between people (and possibly invent some goodwill), you have to produce procedures, most problematic, you have to find the time and energy.

    If the benefits are not direct and obvious then all of the above is perceived as a problem and people direct their time and energies to something else.

    The benefits may be there but they may be subtle and at the cost of sustained and high effort so people give up and pay lip service to the process. Then any benefits are lost.
    Eureka! likes this.
  3. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    is the CMRE (Centre for Market Reform Education) worth listening to?

    Probably not. It's clearly a well heeled lobby, based in Westminster and with no interest in education other than how much money its clients can divert into their pockets. Why else would you set up such an organisation with such a name?

    Think of how many ways education has stood still. Now think of how things could be improved and how to do it.

    "Whereas most sectors in society have gone through fundamental transformations in the past century, education provision is very much the same as it was a hundred years ago. We believe that the main problem in education is the lack of incentives to improve pupil performance."

    Ah - only one of each apparently, "pupil performance" - whatever that means...needs to be improved (probably means exactly the same as it has meant for a hundred years... grades! )

    And the way to do that is .... I'm sure you don't need to guess...
    xena-warrior likes this.
  4. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    All the collaborations my schools have been involved in were that of Leafy-Lane HT popping round once a week to "advise" the HT of an inner-city, 75% EAL, 55% FSM school how to be as super as he is.
    The main things it bred were resentment and contempt.
    drek and Middlemarch like this.
  5. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Absolutely spot on. It has the same nasty edge, as business takeovers. I'm a dfe favourite. I'm an outstanding teacher because I can select students guaranteed to hit their targets. The parents are ambitious. will make sure they do their homework, are well fed, attend a variety of different activities, get enough sleep.
    You have students whose parents may be drug addicts, are bullied because they show obvious signs of underdevelopment, smoke in public, and fly into uncontrollable rages?
    Well I can show you strategies that will work. Have you tried using the traffic light system?
    The expert then sends in other experts to check if the strategy is being used school wide, produces a spreadsheet and graph analysis showing how 'they' improved results.
    (Exam boards changing to vocational and dumbing down notwithstanding!)
    The collaborator is now on their way to headship, will be back soon to takeover 'failing' schools.
    So shallow and superficial.
    Collaboration? Not worth the soul cringing effort!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  6. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Distributed learning makes a lot of sense though. This is where students do different courses at different places. Heck some of them don't even have to be proper educational institutions.

    Presumably the CMRE will like that idea - it will make vouchers more spendable.
  7. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    School collaboration... oh yeah we tried that. Got linked to a high performing school - turned out their cohort was astronomically different to ours and as a result we couldn't really learn anything from each other. Their teachers couldn't handle ours... we did OK going up to theirs, not great at stretching high ability but we learnt. After a while their staff started refusing to play with us - made them feel bad, they'd convinced themselves they were great teachers when really they had highly motivated pupils. It was a shock to them to struggle.

    Anyway, it all fizzled out when the schools refused to give extra time on the timetables for this collaboration and we all went back to our little holes and the myths we'd crafted in our minds to justify ourselves.

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