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Moving from Teacher Isolation to Collaboration

Teaching embodies many roles -- in the classroom through teacher-student interactions, and beyond the classroom through teacher-adult interactions. This book explains and demonstrates how collaboration and teamwork can help enhance professionalism and school quality by overcoming teachers' isolation in the classroom, in the school, and in their work. The contributing authors address: historic patterns of isolation; why collaboration is crucial for vibrant and sustained professionalism; principles of successful team collaboration in schools and other sectors; school districts' structure and support for collaborative teams; forces that motivate or restrain teachers' ability to collaborate; how teachers in grade-level teams perceive the quality of their training and support; team members' perceptions of their work in departments; teachers' use of evidence of student learning to improve teacher and organizational learning; and teacher-principal collaboration from the perspectives of exemplary teachers. These chapters provide insight into the complexity of teachers' roles, and indicate the necessity to build collaboration within the school and beyond.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents PREFACE Bruce S. Cooper & Sharon Conley Chapter 1: Teaching as a Profession - and More: Why? and How? Bruce S. Cooper & Carolyn Brown Chapter 2: What has Prevented Teachers From Being Full Professionals? Mary Antony Bair Chapter 3: Rejuvenating Teacher Teams: Back to Basics Terrence E. Deal & Donna Redman Chapter 4: Organizational Design in Support of Professional Learning Communities in One District Scott C. Bauer, S. David Brazer, Michelle Van Lare, & Robert L. Smith Chapter 5: Influences on Teacher Sharing and Collaboration Tanya F. Cook & Vivienne Collinson Chapter 6: Teaming to Break the Walls of Isolation: Collaboration in Elementary Grade Level Teams J. John Dewey & Sharon Conley Chapter 7: Collaboration in Middle School Departments: A Work Group Effectiveness Perspective Sharon Conley & Frank C. Guerrero Chapter 8: Professional Learning Communities Using Evidence: Examining Teacher Learning and Organizational Learning Michelle D. Van Lare, S. David Brazer, Scott C. Bauer, & Robert L. Smith Chapter 9: Principal-Teacher Collaboration Vivienne Collinson EPILOGUE: Collaboration, Professionalism, and School Quality for the Future Bruce S. Cooper ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

About the Author

Sharon Conley, PhD, is professor of education in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at University of California, Santa Barbara. Bruce S. Cooper, PhD, is professor of educational leadership and policy at Fordham University Graduate School of Education in New York City. Conley and Cooper are also the editors of Finding, Preparing, and Supporting School Leaders: Critical Issues, Useful Solutions; and Keeping and Improving Today's School Leaders: Retaining and Sustaining the Best.


In the face of unrelenting and often irrational challenges to public education, the teaching profession risks becoming less and less desirable to many. Conley and Cooper offer ways to strengthen both the professionalism and desirability of teaching. Their emphasis on collaboration and professionalism promises to enrich teachers' work and to strengthen schools as well. -- Diana G. Pounder, Ph.D., professor and dean of the college of education, University of Central Arkansas Any doubt that educators are looking to collaborate with others throughout the school environment? For teachers are expected to use a variety of relevant data to inform instruction and provide timely feedback, while creating environments where students have a voice in their own learning. This book targets and responds to the critical issues of teacher isolation and collaboration, at a time when strategic engagement is often required of all teachers. This book is a must read for anyone seeking to alter the mindsets that limit how and why time and professional interactions in schools are currently constructed. -- Debra Jackson, Ed.D., superintendent, Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central Schools, NY

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