03 SES 12, Teacher Collaboration for Learning and Innovation
Between 2007 and 2012 an action research project named RRC (Researching for a Relevant Curriculum) was implemented in the Azores, Portugal. It was conducted by a team that included university scholars and teachers from elementary and secondary schools. The focus of the collaboration was the lack of interest shown by some students with regard to the school and the curriculum. This paper examines two forms of teacher collaboration observed in the context of RRC: a weaker form, based on the provision of suggestions on new teaching strategies and related aspects of the colleagues’ work, and a stronger form, based on assistance and some joint work. For example, one teacher took notes of a colleague’s behavior in the classroom in order to help her identify aspects that needed improvement, and other specific research tasks – like interviewing children and writing research papers – were sometimes done together by researchers from the university and elementary school teachers. Overall, collaboration increased in the last year of the project’s implementation, which will be discussed in terms of (1) the possible relation between this fact and a reorientation in the team’s approach to the action research process, (2) the distinction between collaboration and contrived collegiality.
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