Above is a Mindmap of the various professionals that I am or could potentially be connected with when planning and implementing programmes of learning for my students.
Who may I have the interdisciplinary connection with?
I have chosen to write about connecting with a Supporting Agency. This is something that happens but I think perhaps the Skilled professionals in one field or another see themselves as experts offering help rather than working side-by-side with another professional.
Often teachers are at the end of their skill-set by the time the Supporting Agency is available (lack of funding, wait-lists, etc…) and they do indeed need help but a different professional Collaborative approach could restore the balance of power in this type of Interdisciplinary approach.
One that also has Visible accountability and growth embed for all professionals.
How might the joint planning, decision-making, and goal-setting take place?
Initially as the classroom practitioner I will be the instigator to create a collaborative team. This is actually not as straight forward as identifying a need, looking on my Mind-Map above, and making a phone call.
There are set processes which can be very good if the systems are well resourced. Often a teacher has to persevere for longer than 12 months to receive Collaborative interdisciplinary input.
Once the contact is made then a meeting is called.
In Mulligan’s (2015) article proposing a ‘…Conceptual Model for Collaboration…’ where she posted as a guest writer, she outlined 3 ‘…Qualifiers…’
- Workplace Conditions
- Qualities/ Attitudes
- Common Goals
Using Mulligan’s (2015) qualifiers a Meeting space that is Neutral and Welcoming is step number one. It also should be well resourced, comfortable and available. Any Collaboration like this is not a one-off event but may be sustained over a long period of time and meetings should be deliberated planned.
The Qualities or Attitudes of a Professional Collaborative experience should really go without saying as this is a “Professional” enterprise. However it is always a great idea to explicitly outline expected Behaviours. Mulligan (2015) noted the following:
- Cooperative—able to compromise
- Equitable—respect for roles
- Trust—perceived competence
- Shared vulnerability—safe setting to explore, inquire & critique
- Enthusiasm—desire to continue collaboration
But, I am certain, in a Collaborative partnership others may or may not be added.
Finally and most importantly are the Common Goals. This is the whole purpose of the Collaboration, This is where the wonderful ideas and creativity and inspiration occurs,
I think this whole process can be enhanced with a Spiral of Inquiry Timperley et.al.(2014)
because it is the Hunches, the Reflection, and the Refining of an educational Initiative that is so powerful and surely this would be enhanced with an interdisciplinary connection where all professionals involved would be equally responsible.
Mulligan, L. M., & Kuban, A. J. . (2015). A Conceptual Model for Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Retrieved from http://acrlog.org/2015/05/14/a-conceptual-model-for-interdisciplinary-collaboration
Timperley, Kaser & Halbert (2014) A framework for transforming Learning in Schools: Innovation and the Spiral of Inquiry. Victoria: Centre for Strategic Education