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Concerning collaboration; teachers’ perspectives on working in partnerships to develop teaching practices

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rachel Lofthouse, Ulrike Thomas



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Teachers are often encouraged to partnerships to support their professional development. In this article we focus on three forms of working partnerships based in English secondary schools. Each has an intended function of developing teaching practices. The cases of mentoring, coaching and an adapted lesson study come from both Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development, but have common practices of one-to-one meetings, planned activity and shared reflection. The participants’ perspectives on these practices were investigated through a multiple case study using semi-structured interviews. We established the degree to which their experiences could be considered to be collaborative, basing our analysis on the extent to which there was evidence of working ‘together’, not just working ‘with’; and working towards a common goal, pooling knowledge and problem-solving. We conclude that collaboration for the development of their own teaching practices allows teachers to engage in more informed decision making and to construct a shared understanding of the nature of the desired learning outcomes and how they might be achieved in their own contexts. The teachers indicate that this experience often runs counter to their experience of the school cultures driven by performativity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lofthouse R, Thomas U

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Professional Development in Education

Year: 2017

Volume: 43

Issue: 1

Pages: 35-56

Print publication date: 01/01/2017

Online publication date: 28/07/2015

Acceptance date: 18/05/2015

Date deposited: 10/08/2015

ISSN (print): 1941-5257

ISSN (electronic): 1941-5265

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2015.1053570


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