When leaders and teachers undertake evidence-informed inquiry, and use it to work collaboratively towards change and improvement for learners, it establishes professional agency and makes inquiry the everyday work of schools and kura. This creates a culture of sustained improvement.

New Zealand articles and resources

The benefits of collaborative professional learning

by Susan Heeps and Silvia Insley

This paper reports the development of a professional learning community around introducing the teaching of Spanish at Pakuranga Intermediate School.

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New Zealand school stories

West Auckland principals collaborate

An impressive collaboration initiative has been underway in Waitakere, West Auckland for the last eight years. In 2007 a group of principals from a range of schools across the sector joined forces to see if they could work together to make a difference to student outcomes across the region. This story explains how they did it.

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Mangere Central School - Building the capacity of middle leaders.

Mangere Central School: teachers talk

This pecha kucha and accompanying narration describes the learning journey that MCS school staff have been on since they set themselves the challenge to sustain an unrelenting focus on accelerating student achievement.

Gary Punler - deprivatising practice

Gary Punler: deprivatising practice

Principal Gary Punler describes how teaching practice in his school is no longer personal and private. An overview of the difference between collaborative v. private practice is also provided.

Anuja Singh: leading learning and leading change

Anuja Singh has responsibility for maths. She works with the four maths mentors in her school who in turn work with classroom teachers. In this way the school's vision for teaching and learning in mathematics is cascaded through all classrooms.

Invercargill schools collaborate

by Nicola Allen, Yvonne Browning, Rowana Skelt

A single transition form for the whole of Invercargill has replaced the forms each secondary school used to collect information from primary schools in the area. Southland Girls’ staff talk about how the quality of transition for staff, students and the wider community has improved.

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Other resources

A framework for transforming learning in schools: Innovation and the spiral of inquiry

by Helen Timperley, Linda Kaser and Judy Halbert

This paper argues for a “sea change in learning settings for young people”. Using a range of examples from New Zealand, Australia and Canada, it makes the case for new approaches to designing learning and teaching and how we might achieve this. It also provides a model for long term PLD within schools.

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Learning is the work

by Michael Fullan

Learning is the Work is a powerful article by Michael Fullan on the benefits of collaborative work in and between schools. It is also about well-led teams of teachers working to build individual and collective capacity to raise student achievement. It is a useful article for those building understanding about effective collaborative practices.

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Promoting collaborative learning cultures

by Various

This issue of Ideas into Action focuses on establishing, embedding, and sustaining a culture of collaboration in a school as a prerequisite for establishing collaborative relationships across and between communities of schools. The article discusses the necessary conditions for establishing an authentic collaborative learning culture, and how we can build our networks beyond individual walls to embrace an even wider collaborative learning culture.

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How do principals really improve schools?

by Rick Dufour and Mike Mattos

This article from Educational Leadership is set in a US context, but it has relevance for New Zealand schools who wish to establish professional learning communities (PLCs).

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Too busy to learn? an introduction to collaborative leadership learning

by Multiple

This introductory handbook of interactive materials for collaborative learning builds on an NCSL pilot programme to develop leadership learning groups. It offers questions, processes and materials.

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Tags: Collaborative practice

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Related sabbatical reports

  • Grant Watson, Upper Moutere School

    To increase professional understanding of and capability in the further leading of collaborative teaching and learning in flexible teaching and learning environments. (PDF 175kB)

  • Raewyn Matthys-Morris, Glenfield Intermediate

    To investigate how clusters of schools work together to sustain new learning across the schools and how they collectively benefit from working together.  (PDF 115kB)