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Collaboration in Education

             Roland Barth, senior lecturer in Education at Harvard University "believes that encouraging collaboration at the individual school level" creates "a community of learners committed to discovering conditions that elicit and support human learning (Bauer 1)." In the field of education, it is important for teachers, and other educational professionals to be able to collaborate and do things collaboratively. This can be achieved in the educational setting through various types of teacher/professional teams, co-teaching with peers, and consultation among colleagues.
             Collaboration is defined in Interactions as "a style for direct interaction between at least two co-equal parties voluntarily engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal (Friend 6)." In order to achieve this common goal, the teachers/professionals involved need to know the characteristics of collaboration and follow them. The characteristics of collaboration include the following: those involved must have volunteered, there must be parity among those involved, there must be a mutual goal that everyone is working towards, everyone must share in the decision making and participate, everyone involved must be willing to share their resources, and everyone shares equal accountability for the final outcome of the decision (6-10).
             One of the most common methods of collaboration among teachers is through the use of teams. Teams are in place to help groups of teachers and students work together through a more interdependent relationship. There are two types of teams: disciplinary and student-centered. Disciplinary teams include multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary teams, which are made up of groups of teachers working together to make decisions about students (32-34), whether it be about deciding if the student is in need of special education services (multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary), or about the need to find a solution to an impeding behavior problem (all disciplinary teams).

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