College Papers

Cooperative you upon my own account, in expectation

Cooperative and collaborative
work  ( 12 hours / Professor  Hamouda Klibi)

“Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. ‘
It is profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, and that you
should aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know you have as little
for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains upon your account; and should I
labour with you upon my own account, in expectation of a return, I know I
should be disappointed, and that I should in vain depend upon your gratitude.
Here then I leave you to labour alone; You treat me in the same manner. The
seasons change; and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence
and security.” 
                                                       
David Hume

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While working on  this module I did not dwell much on the
differences between cooperative and collaborative learning because I think
that  the purpose of both approaches is
the same; to provide students opportunities to engage with each other in
thoughtful learning. The underlying premise of these techniques is that
learning is enhanced by peer  interaction. The differences in cooperative
learning & collaborative learning are outlined in the  circular chart  below:

  Source:https://www.teacherswithapps.com/the-differences-in-cooperative-learning-collaborative-learning/

The
importance of Collaboration .

Collaboration  has been deemed an integral 21st-century
necessity and most models of 21st century
education shift  from individual
competencies and place a great value 
on    collaboration  . 
Indeed , this concept   is
not a new one , it has been utilized 
since “Socratic Circles.” It is reportedly founded on
Socrates’ belief that lecture was not an effective method of teaching all
students.

Harnessing
  the potential of teacher collaboration  to the benefit of students.

 A large body of literature suggests that
teacher collaboration may, in fact, enhance learning for both teachers and
students (Williams, 2010). When we give 
teachers  opportunities to
collaborate professionally, they build upon their distinctive  prior experiences, pedagogies, and content .
Pounder (1998) stated that teachers who work 
in a  team environment  report a greater skill variety and knowledge
of student performance, which, in turn, improves student achievements . A study
conducted by Goddard and Goddard (2007) found 
a direct link between teacher collaboration and student achievement.

The
seminal work of  Vygotsky (1962)
suggested that we learn how to interact and communicate from others. Although
his theory (Social Development Theory) is primarily based on how educators
should create classroom environments to maximize learning for students, it can
be used to maximize learning for teachers as well. Vygotsky (1962) stated  that collaborative or cooperative dialogue
helps individuals internalize information and apply it in real-life settings.
Social Development Theory  delves deep
into how others  learn in social
settings. When teachers collaborate, they 
create  a social environment that
allows them to learn from other teachers. Collaboration fosters creativity and
integration on specific topics . Vygotsky  states through this cultural lens , when we
work together  we create and develop learning
communities   which , in turn ,  supports collaborative learning  through  discussion-based learning.

 Given the importance   of collaborative work for both learners and
teachers alike   , it is incumbent  on the future inspector to  encourage   teachers 
to work collaboratively, share ideas, learning about their educational
practice  , and solutions to
problems  that  they come across . Importantly, these
collaborative  practices   are
not only beneficial to  inspectors and
teachers , but also to students . In this light  collaboration 
should be  the norm  rather than the exception . It should be used
as often as possible in the learning environment because  It can absolutely expedite learning . As  would be inspectors
, we are all concerned with improving the education our students receive.  Significantly , if we want  to improve student achievement , we must work
on improving initial teacher training and encourage continuous professional
development .

Not only will
effective collaboration improve teacher performance, but it also will improve
student performance.  This happens only
when the future  inspector  becomes part of the team and not simply a
lecturer who does not “preach what he teaches” .Put succinctly  , if teachers are to support their students’
 learning, they themselves should be good
models of the kind of teaching they are trying to promote.   In order to   be 
a  successful  team leader whose aim is to help teachers
perform well and function at the highest level of  sustained   improvement which makes an  impact on student learning ,  The future inspector  should lead by example .  The way  he acts , the characteristics he  exerts 
may have an influence on  the  teachers , so if he / she wants   teachers to be collaborative , he / she
should make sure that he does the same 
thing .

 Undoubtedly , Effective collaboration exposes  inspectors and teachers to improved practices,
which leads to stronger pedagogy. The more effective a teacher is, the more a
student will benefit.   A professional
culture  of collaboration requires  teachers who are willing to share, support,
and explore together.  Developing a
collaborative culture will result in reducing teacher attrition, improving student
learning, and creating the type of school that everyone searches for .  

To this end ,  future inspectors need to instill the spirit
of teamwork especially when they deal with preparing  and marking national exams ( the 9th
year diploma and baccalaureate examination ) , joint tests and  lesson plans should also be encouraged .

Sharing ideas about teaching
practices , and reflective teaching based on peer observation should be sought
.

 As a  would be  Inspector  , I should be cognizant that my  success depends entirely on the success
of  the teachers I am working with .  As it is the case in classrooms , students
performance is the yardstick by which teaching quality is gauged.  The same thing can apply to inspectors ,  the hallmark of an  effective inspector  is his  competence  mainly in technical skills (knowledge and
understanding of the mechanics of his / her  job) 
and in human relations (  understanding
of teachers  and being able to
effectively work with them ) .

 Nowadays human
capital is fast becoming the key ingredient to the success of all  work environments   . How to effectively develop this critical
resource  should be  a concern of all the stakeholders in the field
of education  .  That said , it is not too surprising
that a core set of skills necessary to be  a successful   future inspector
centers around interpersonal skills , that is to say ,  oral and written communication, constructive
listening, honest and direct dialogue . In a nutshell , inspectors who can inspire and motivate their teachers  to raise their levels of performance and
achieve their potential  by working and
collaborating with their colleagues  will
have far-reaching benefits .   In a
very influential article in 1994 David Hargreaves argued for a ‘new
professionalism’ for teachers which called for new forms of relationships with
their  colleagues.

Instilling  a culture of collaboration among teachers
requires great faith , courage and tenacity .  Future Inspectors should sensitize teachers to
the value of collaboration and encourage them to become better skilled at
approaching their work with a collaborative eye for the sake of their own
professional work and the achievement of their students.

To date , the
prevailing cultural attitude among teachers 
in our country  is characterized
by  reluctance to work with others . This
aversion can be explained by their fear from others and from change .  For them sameness  means safety and change means danger   .   Against this negative background ,  inspectors should help teachers to get out of
their comfort zone  and embark on collaborating
 with their colleagues to optimize the
learning environments,  and cope with
emerging and ongoing challenges  by
exploring alternative solutions and thoughtfully solving problems  .

Some teachers
already are beginning to take matters in their own hands by dialoguing and  collaborating frequently and consistently  with other teachers in their schools ,  in   their regions , and worldwide  . They work jointly on preparing tests ,  lesson plans , 
share ideas about successful practices , and suggest solutions to
classroom problems  .

Part of would
be  inspectors task is to work
collaboratively in designing books , exam committees and the like .  

My experience with
collaboration

 I cannot delve
deep  into the concept of collaboration  without getting personal.  On a larger scale  , In 2011 I 
joined  Schools online ; a
platform that helps develop international education in schools by creating
partnerships between teachers. Working jointly with a cluster of teachers from
England,  and embedding international
learning into my classroom had far –reaching benefits , and was a key to
deepening my students’ understanding and respect for the world around them while
keepingtheir pride in their Tunisian identity . Later in 2015 , I joined a MOOC
group of teachers from different parts of the world  to share ideas and tips for
continuing professional development , and to discuss good teaching practices  . Now the group has reached about eighteen  thousand teachers worldwide  . On
a smaller   scale , When I was a teacher
trainer , I created a facebook group for teachers of English in Le kef  area . 
Right from the outset ,  we
started sharing teaching  material,
worksheets , exams and reflections on our teaching practices  . In the same period I joined another group of
about two thousand  teachers all over
Tunisia  ( English Data Bank )  .

 Collaboration
among  teachers   whether they are in the same school , region
, or country  or from different countries
as it is the case of  Connecting classrooms
, schools online  , MOOC  and etwinning groups   is a
great way to bring education to life for learners, and the benefits of  sharing ideas , tips , practices and joint
projects with  regional ,  national , and international schools  are wide-reaching. For students,  collaboration can help develop their core
skills ,  and for teachers,  collaboration be it at the national or
international level  is a useful way of
growing professionally , sharing knowledge , and using  best practices 
 .Teachers can work together even
though they do not  see eye to eye.”
In the high-scoring schools of Finland, South Korea and Shanghai, studies show,
teachers are not like private emperors in their classrooms; they make their
practice public, becoming the “learners of their own
teaching.” 

Broadly
speaking , “The power of collective
capacity is that it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things,
for two reasons,” Fullan writes in All Systems Go.
“One is that knowledge about effective practice becomes more widely
available and accessible on a daily basis. The second reason is more powerful
still — working together generates commitment.”

Gregariousness
is quintessentially a human character  , and
that is why during our social and professional 
lives , we have all experienced groups that have jelled or worked and
those that have not  . When I first
started teaching  ,  my inspector asked  us to put our differences aside  , and 
insisted on the importance of joint efforts especially  in preparing lesson plans and tests . When we
tried to pull resources together we got better results . Here at CIFFIP , the
first thing we were asked to do is to choose a coordinator for each group  of inspector trainees .  Our 
choice  gave birth to a  group  that  proved to be a success , we worked together
right from the beginning  , and our group
developed from a mere  collection of  strange trainee inspectors coming from various
areas to a cohesive functional group . This group had a shared goal  as Helen Keller once said “alone we can do so
little , together we can do so much ”   .
According
to Jay Cross,

“People acquire the skills they use at work informally – talking,
observing others, trial-and-error, and simply working with people in the know.
Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way most of us
learn to do our jobs.”

Right from
the very beginning we  worked  collaboratively  . As a good habit every night we would gather
somewhere at the premises of CFFIP ,  and
discuss the module we studied . When we came back from our field training , we
shared experiences and ideas .   With that in mind , I do firmly believe that
at the heart of this training whether at CIFFIP or in our regions , we
benefited from  a tremendous feeling of
togetherness . We shared gripping 
narratives form our experiences in the field work and we exchanged ideas
and attitudes .  Though  our experiences were somehow  personal ,  there was a lot of learning that was  derived from our personal narratives which
Vygotsky dubbed social learning  .   The birth of our group was in a way similar to
what Psychologist Bruce Tuckman   came up with  the memorable phrase “forming, storming,
norming, and performing” in his 1965 article, “Developmental
Sequence in Small Groups.” He used it to describe the
path that most  groups  follow on their way to high performance. The  table below explains  the aforementioned stages :

 

‘.

The research on teacher collaboration—everywhere—is
unequivocal. Collaborating with colleagues—and the culture of trust and
knowledge sharing that collaboration produces— has been linked to increased
teacher effectiveness, improved student test-score gains (Kraft & Papay,
2014), and teacher willingness to adopt new innovations (Granovetter &
Soong, 1983). But collaboration does not happen ex nihilo—people
must have a reason to collaborate, be oriented on how to be a productive team
and collaborative groups must, at least at first, be encouraged by the trainer
.

To further promote teacher collaboration, the
following  three actions should be
considered :

1.    Design for collaboration, for example
by promoting peer-to-peer classroom visits with time for feedback

2.    Strengthen sharing ideas and feedback