As I wrote earlier , I had the very fortunate luck of attending a mini-session at the Project Zero Summer Institute 2013: “Effective Professional Learning Communities: Supporting Learning in Staff Rooms and Classrooms” by Daniel Wilson. The session aimed at identifying the key features of learning communities while discussing the common roadblocks that impede progress.
Group work and collaboration can be chaotic, frustrating and laborious. Done well, it produces better products that are more responsive to group needs than those created by a lone cowboy.
True collaboration is not simply
- communicating your plans without care for others
- coordinating parts in an additive fashion that is not fluent
- cooperating in a passive fashion without discussion and agreement on the big ideas
Ideally, collaboration is the highly developed and dynamic process whereby more than one person comes together to create something truly unique and creative. This process is democratic; with everyone’s voice heard. The parts are reciprocally interdependent and the outcome a melodic blend that fits together well. Individuals design together, as equals, for the greater good.
This is true for all groups.