Volume 13, Issue 4     Editorial page 8
In this Winter 09 issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly, different models of collaboration are described
by my colleagues working in K-12 schools and universities. These articles engage the efforts of various related constituencies working together for the pursuit of learning, improved quality of education and commitment to create a better learning environment or a better world. As a professor of Education, I can relate to the needs, struggles and pursuit of connecting teaching professionals to create better schools, support deeply committed teachers and teach university students who are better prepared for the challenges of their life’s work.
T.M.Witte, I. Saltiel, J. Witte and P. Hackett, write of their work in facilitating a learning community in a middle school setting. In their quest for learning, relationships developed through inquiry and commitment. This article documents their progress. P. Symister and Z. Jahangir describe their work in facilitating a learning community within the community college setting for students who are early childhood education majors. Their goal was to see their students comprehend the interdisciplinary meaning of the course concepts. T. Gurl writes of the use of the Japanese lesson study to foster interactions between mathematics secondary education teacher candidates and their mentors/cooperating teachers. The success of this relationship is crucial for the teacher candidate’s learning while in their field placement. J. Rosenthal writes of collaborating with urban school districts for field placements in order to enhance teacher candidate’s exposure to underrepresented populations. To isolate teacher candidates from these groups is to deny the existence of the reality of a global, diverse world. S. Martinez, J. Weathers, S. Brown, G. Carne, M. Lanphere and D. Samuels discuss how community building and community resiliency enabled the reopening of the Gulf coast schools after Hurricane Katrina. While this unfortunate event wrecked havoc on part of the U.S., the people living there refused to be defeated. Their story of hope speaks to the power of people bonded by a common cause.
Collaboration is also demonstrated in the endeavors of university professors. We read of the ability of higher education professionals pooling their talents to benefit students’ learning experiences. R.D. Mascle writes how three composition instructors created shared assignments, rubrics and assessment procedures for their students in a first-year writing program. Although it would be easier to be masters of their own domain, these professors were dedicated to enhancing the learning environment for their students. J. Millisor and J. Olberding worked together to provide their university students with ways of learning and investing in philanthropy programs in their own university and other universities. For students to look beyond themselves and their own area of comfort is the initial step in developing collaboration. G. Wilson and A. Wilson jointly taught a freshman university course about collaborative research on risk with real-world case studies. Their focus was to capture the attention of these novice students with meaningful examples and exercises. These exercises provided impetus for development of skills to be used throughout the new students’ university careers. Addressing world issues is also the focus of J. Stone’s article on providing a model for intra-institutional collaboration for solving these problems. Collaboration of institutions of higher learning working together to provide solutions for issues that affect the global population is necessary rather than isolation of their talents. The problems existing in today’s world call for a generosity of intellect and a commitment by all for resolutions. S. Bhattacharyya addresses the influences of generational gaps in Indian Americans. Respect for the pursuit of education has long been a means to avoid oppression and attain respect and independence. The beliefs of the older Indian generations are conflicted with that of the younger generation. We will read of the two groups different positions.
Our authors offer interesting perspectives and models to analyze. This issue is rich in experience and a testimony to the willingness of professionals to work together to solve a range of problems, create an engaged learning community and understand the complexities of a diverse world. Their energy and dedication are striking.
The topic of Collaboration can be examined through many different lenses. Academic Exchange Quarterly requests proposals again for the Winter 2010 issue. I am proud to serve again as the feature editor. Please check the website for the specific submission protocol. Consider this topic and its relationship to your work. Your colleagues can learn from your endeavors and reflect on your studies as an impetus for their own explorations. Submissions will be accepted through August 2010.
Melody D’Ambrosio Deprez, Ed.D.
Feature Editor, Collaboration
Assistant Professor of Education
Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY 40324