Collaborating for Deep Learning
We have observed many task-oriented teacher team meetings in which teachers superficially discussed student data under the guise of data-driven decision-making. In such meetings, administrators typically provide teachers with data on external assessments along with a set of questions to answer. Teachers often feel rushed to complete the form, leaving little time for reflection about the data or consideration of the implications for practice. This is not effective data use, and it certainly is not professional collaboration. Professional collaboration involves considering what it really means for a student to learn deeply, rather than simply “meet the mark” on externally imposed assessments (Hargreaves & O’Connor, 2018). Professional collaboration focuses on deep learning for teachers and students alike. Joint work can be alluring for teachers who have the opportunity to delve deeply into what students should know and are able to do. Collaborative structures focused on student-centered teaching and learning allow teachers the time and space to innovate. Engaging in an ongoing process characterized by genuine inquiry can energize teachers to generate unique ways of promoting and capturing student learning.