An Introduction to Collaborative Practices Session 1

Course Number: EDU 5515 C70A
Instructor: Michael Eppolito, Jeanie Phillips, Allyson Oswald, Amy Hamblett
Location: In-person at White River Valley Supervisory Union and online
Dates and Times: 6 in-person meetings beginning on July 27, 2017. Course continues online through October 28, 2017. Please contact the course instructor for the complete schedule.
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $1,200

Note: Please register online. Course payment of $1,200 should be made payable to WRVSU and mailed to Mary Ellen Simmons, Curriculum Coordinator, White River Valley Supervisory Union, 461 Waterman Road, South Royalton, VT 05068.

Course Description

This course is designed for teachers and administrators interested in developing the skills necessary for effective collaboration. Participants will look deeply at student and teacher work to improve teaching practice and student learning. All participants will be required to present authentic work for feedback during two protocol sessions and to facilitate at least two protocol sessions. Participants will actively contribute to group discussions on texts, each other’s work, and student work. Participants will also reflect on the skills need to effectively participate in, present during, and facilitate a protocol session.

This course will focus on teaching educators to work collaboratively. An overarching theme for collaborative practices is reflection and participants will improve their practice, both as educators and as collaborators, through reflection. Participants will practice and deepen their skills as participants, presenters and facilitators in protocol sessions. Readings, direct instruction, and group activities will support them as they explore collaborative inquiry. They will demonstrate new learning by providing reflections on the proficiencies necessary for participating, presenting, and facilitating in protocol sessions.

Course Essential Questions

During this course, we will explore the following questions:

- What is deep collaboration and how can it contribute to my own learning and to that of my colleagues and especially my students?

- What are the structural and cultural conditions that insure deep collaboration?

- What does a fierce commitment to educational equity and excellence look like? What is the role of teacher leaders in acting on that commitment in our schools?

- How do we continue to foster collaborative work in our schools and in our district?

Course Objectives

During this course, it is expected that the class will have specific learning goals and objectives to suggest. During our class meetings, we will have an opportunity to develop collective and individual objectives to help extend our own learning and development. To begin the course, the following objectives are suggested: 

● Actively participate in a collaborative learning community.
● Reflect on your skills and dispositions as a teacher leader and member of a collaborative learning community.
● Reflect on your experience as a participant in protocol sessions, identifying and providing examples of growth and learning about the disciplined behavior, active listening, and meaningful feedback necessary for deep collaboration.
● Reflect on your experience as a presenter in protocol sessions, identifying and providing examples of growth and learning about your ability to prepare authentic, meaningful work/questions, to present the context for that work/question, and to receive and reflect on feedback in a collaborative protocol session.
● Reflect on your experience as a facilitator in protocol sessions, identifying and providing examples of growth and learning about your ability to pre-conference with a presenter, advocate for the needs of the presenter, use the structure of the protocol, and encourage norm adherence to insure deep collaboration.

Course Expectations

Tentative Course Outline

Day 1 Listening & Questioning
Mindset and Mastery
Text Based Protocol: Generous Listening and Generous Questions
Home Learning: Read: Chapters 1 & 2 Facilitator's Book of Questions by David Allen and Tina Blythe 
Closing Moves

Day 2 Feedback & Community
Text Based Protocol: Chapters 1 & 2 Facilitator's Book of Questions 
Concurrent Protocol Sessions: dilemma management
Home Learning: Read: Looking Together at Student Work, Chapter 4
Closing Moves

Day 3 Collaborative Leadership
Opening Moves
Who Am I as a Teacher Leader?: Compass Points
What conditions are necessary for deep collaboration?: Group Norm Development

Day 4 Structure & Openness
Text Based Protocol: SRI Theory of Action

Day 5 Looking at work critically
Dangers of a Single Story
Home Learning: Read: Facilitator’s Book of Questions Chapters 8 & 9

Day 6 Empowering Change: Realms of Concern and Influence
Gamestorming Protocol: fostering collaborative work in our schools and district

For additional course information

Michael Eppolito

For additional registration information

Mary Ellen Simmons
(802) 763-8840

Register online now!