Strengthening Collaboration in Districts, Schools and Classrooms

If collaboration is in much-too-short supply these days in our public life, in the workplace it is increasingly prized. This has been true for a while, as found in research, including some of our own, that points to the importance of "soft skills" in the modern workplace which enable people to work productively in teams, amplifying their individual knowledge and skills through their interaction with peers.

One workplace where this has been less obviously true is in our schools, dominated by the classic image of the teacher closing the classroom door and getting down to business with her or his students. But even here, interest in the ways that peer collaboration can strengthen practice is growing.

Public Agenda, in partnership with the Spencer Foundation, is proud to be supporting this cutting-edge development in K-12 education through the second installment of our In Perspective web resource series. Like our first on charter schools, our Teacher Collaboration site informs rather than advocates. Just in time for the new school year, it provides teachers and education leaders with new materials that can help foster a more collaborative environment, which can result in many benefits for students and educators alike.

Working in isolation can only be so effective. With support and a solid structure for collaboration in place, a talented team with a shared set of goals can be more innovative and successful. These resources have the potential to help strengthen that type of system in districts, schools and classrooms, and I encourage you to share them with your friends and colleagues.

Many thanks to the educators across the country for all that you do. Here's to a happy and successful new school year.


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