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ERIC Number: EJ803555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0892-0206
Collaborative Practice: The Basis of Good Educational Work
James, Chris
Management in Education, v21 n4 p32-37 2007
It is notoriously difficult to classify occupations as professions and to define professional work. Numerous authors have provided criteria for categorising occupations as professions but the judgement still remains a difficult one. Freidson (1991) is clear that professional work is Good Work. It has a moral purpose and arguably that sense of moral purpose should underpin all teaching, leadership and management in every school. The purpose of schools is to undertake Good Work. The ideas in this article originated in a study of "Good Educational Work" which the author undertook with Michael Connolly, Gerald Dunning and Tony Elliott. They researched the nature of primary schools in Wales in disadvantaged settings. These schools were unusual in that the pupils reached very high levels of attainment. So, the schools--the pupils, the staff, the parents, the governing body and the community--had overcome one of the main reasons for low pupil attainment: social and economic disadvantage, which is Good Work indeed. In the schools they studied, there was a very strong sense of joint endeavour. All the members of staff clearly worked together to do the best work they could, and then to work just as hard improving what they did. They were not "mindless" in the way they worked. Far from it, they were highly thoughtful and reflective. Most importantly, they had a clear sense of what the work priorities were. In essence, there was highly developed and sophisticated joint working (collaboration), a thoughtful and careful approach (reflective practice) and a focus on a widely agreed and meaningful main task (the primary task). The researchers have called this way of working "collaborative practice". The three elements together--collaboration, reflective practice and a focus on the primary task--provide a very powerful basis for undertaking "Good Work" in schools. In this article, the author describes the three elements of collaborative practice drawing on empirical illustrations and develops a model which depicts collaborative practice. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail: journals@sagepub.com; Web site: http://sagepub.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Wales)