What would it take for schools to become more collaborative places? What practices distinguish highly collaborative organizations? And if we believe that collaboration enhances learning among students, how can we help teachers learn in more collaborative ways as well?
Our team at the Folio Collaborative believes that finding more effective ways to support and enhance collaboration among teachers will benefit the overall quality of teaching and learning in our schools. For the past few years, with support from the McDonogh School and the E.E. Ford Foundation, we have investigated how to help schools foster teacher growth and improvement through systematic approaches to collaboration. We are proud today to release a whitepaper — Creating a Culture of Collaboration: The Building Blocks of Transformational Teamwork — that documents our findings from this work.
Our project began with a design team composed of teachers and school leaders from our Folio member schools around the nation. They visited a set of highly-collaborative schools, non-profits, and for-profit companies to identify best practices. Among others, we visited a professional sports team, a Fortune 500 online retail company, a medical center and medical school, one of the world’s largest technology companies, a leading graduate school of design, and a collection of schools from around the country whose practices sit at the cutting edge of a variety of aspects of education.
We then synthesized these research findings into a set of five core elements. These core building blocks informed the design of a suite of new features in our software platform, as well as serving as the basis for a framework and accompanying whitepaper to help schools become more collaborative workplaces. We are tremendously excited to share this whitepaper with the world. Not only does it represent the hard work of so many members of our team as well as the efforts of our collaborators, we are also confident that these findings will serve as a catalyst for schools around the country hoping to transform into more collaborative places to work and to learn. We hope you’ll download the whitepaper today and that you’ll share with us your reactions, responses, and the ways in which it inspires you to create change!