From Teaching as Principled Practice: Managing Complexity for Social Justice.
Teaching is hard-too hard to attempt in isolation. The promise of collegiality is far too great to ignore. Yet, Colleen’s statement about time illustrates one of the many tensions teachers and learners of all ages and contexts struggle with as we strive to reap the benefits of collaboration. This chapter springs from the core belief that learning occurs in relationships. Clearly, the education of both students of teachers and students of teaching can be greatly enhanced by interaction. The work of teaching and learning to teach requires attention to several important principles. As explored in other chapters, we will need to make sense of the political implications of our work and attend to the developmental needs of our students within an ethic of care while reflecting and deciding on the most appropriate content of a lesson or unit of study. The magnitude of the work of learning to teach crumot be overstated. You do not have to–and perhaps you cannot–put all of this together alone. The rest of this chapter will ask you to also consider pursuing a principled practice of collegiality as integral to your professional development. You will examine several facets of collaboration, including dilemmas resolved within the context of collaborating to teach and teaching to collaborate. Throughout the chapter, you will find a lack of precision in the use of the words collegiality, collaboration, cooperation, and their derivatives. Simply put, the words will refer to folks talking, thinking, and working together and not to any particular set of practices.