Manager – Teacher Leadership
Katie joined TELLAL from her position as Vice Principal at GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis, and in 2013, was awarded the prestigious GEMS Core Values Award.
Avid visitors to our website might have caught our recent participation in the exciting Qudwa 2019 Forum and be aware that our own Senior Vice President Dr Linda Rush was invited to give a presentation during the event. It was a real honour to join the ranks of educational enthusiasts from around the UAE in an effort to address and resolve issues related to global teaching competencies. The collaboration of experts and decision-makers was a unique opportunity to achieve real results and foster productive future-ready change. As part of our on-going contribution to that effort, we wanted to share with you some of the insights Dr Rush shared with attendees so that it can enhance further conversations about the options and innovations that lay ahead of us.
The knowledge piece presented surrounding the topic of ‘partnership learning’ and how making the unconventional conventional can have far reaching impacts on global teacher development. It began by sharing how the TELLAL Institute has begun to narrow in on the re-imagination of traditional partnership practices, especially when they are found to restrict flexibility in terms of learning methodologies and teacher development. Many historically acceptable methods, structures and processes have remained unchanged in a society that has evolved in leaps and bounds. Traditional concepts of teaching practices and educational leadership are becoming harder and harder to apply appropriately to the realities of student needs in our modern society. It is vital that we allow for the possibility that new horizons in educational norms could provide innovative developments that will benefit our schools, our teachers and our students in a myriad of ways. Dr Rush laid out the framework for how the organization has embraced the lessons of international institutions, both within and outside the educational sphere, that demonstrate the exponential benefits of more open, inclusive and collaborative ways of working.
Sadly, far too many blocks continue to challenge the facilitation of successful collaboration, much to the detriment of everyone involved, but there are key ways in which organisations can incorporate the necessary steps to improve their overall environments and productivity. The first element is to understand what successful collaboration should look like. Research shows us that for collaboration to be effective it needs the following elements:
To further ensure the right ingredients for effective collaboration, you also need ‘enlightened individuals’ more than ‘pragmatic individuals’; the type of people who prioritise dialogue, engagement and openness. Through them you are more likely to foster an atmosphere in which relationships between team members are more conducive to integration, communication and co-ownership of responsibilities, even they supersede job descriptions. Rush and Diamond (2012) lauded this as one of the most efficient states, one in which “individuals are not limited by rules or accepted ways of doing things, assume a shared responsibility, listen attentively”.
A way to increase our collaborative efforts is through adopting more inclusive teacher education partnership practices that focus on the process of learning while keeping the role of reflection and reciprocity a central tenet. That is what partnership learning is.
Partnership Learning, is informed by a distinct pedagogy, involving intra-professional learning (e.g. academics, teachers, experts and students) across boundaries in the field of teacher education. This pedagogy “is fundamentally opposed to any view that involves a simple, nicely portioned transfer of knowledge: it foregrounds the human learner as the active and autonomous maker of knowledge.” (Pokerson, 2005, p. 472).
Partnership learning allows us to develop our understanding of more relational and transformative models of learning, as well as the concept of how we learn. It further offers the chance to integrate traditional academic skills with the learning dispositions, values and attitudes necessary to meet the demands of a global, networked society. As such there is a compromise of learning strategies in the following ways:
At TELLAL this type of conceptual thinking has led to our Global Quality Assurance and Enhancement Framework which includes the following:
Four Key Principles
These four principles are underpinned by three dimensions, which connect quality assurance and governance:
If you would like to get share your insights on how to develop teaching methodologies for our students and the future they will face, we would love to hear from you. We remain totally committed to sharing, communicating and researching all avenues by which we can make positive impacts on our educational system. Feel free to get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 04 403 5146, or via one of our social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.
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