Collaboration: The Art of Strengthening

Amy Park and Deirdre Bailey [Investigating the truth of opinions] consists not in trying to discover the weakness of what is said, but in bringing out its real strength. It is not the art of arguing but the art of thinking… the art of strengthening. (Gadamer, 1975) Abstract Although there is substantial research supporting collaborative practices in school environments, definitions of the term vary widely. Most often, collaboration in schools remains limited to sharing resources or co-planning. A significantly prohibitive factor in allowing teachers to achieve mutually valuable, collaborative relationships are the perceived or established imbalances of power. Traditionally, collaborative … Continue reading Collaboration: The Art of Strengthening

Instructional Leadership – Challenges and Opportunities

-by Garry McKinnon, Superintendent In my first blog on instructional leadership, I described the ultimate goal of positively impacting the quality of teaching and the learning experiences of the students. I also observed that to be effective as an instructional leader one needs to have a clear idea of what it looks like. I suggested that in addition to making reference to the Alberta Teaching Quality Standard knowledge, skills and attributes of effective teaching, it is highly desirable for the members of the school community (teachers, students, parents and school administrators) to engage in a process of articulating descriptors of … Continue reading Instructional Leadership – Challenges and Opportunities

Learning Coaches Networking Day: Creating Pedagogical Partnerships

On August 31, 2012 the Calgary Science School hosted a networking/PD event for Learning Coaches. The purpose of the session was to bring together Learning Coaches and Instructional Leaders from a variety of schools and districts to discuss the role and explore best practices and skills as we strive to support enhanced teacher learning. We also hope to build a supportive network of learning leaders in Calgary, and the surrounding area, who can develop materials, structures, and supports for the role. We were very fortunate to have Dr. Pam Adams from the University of Lethbridge orchestrating the day and working … Continue reading Learning Coaches Networking Day: Creating Pedagogical Partnerships