Winter 2012     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 16, Issue 4

Editorial: Collaboration in Education

The Winter 2012 issue of Academic Research Quarterly includes the recurring feature topic on “Collaboration in Education”. Professional learning communities are created so members of the academic community can collaborate through their collective creativity and continuous inquiry to answer compelling questions, solve critical issues and advance the development of their academic discipline. In this issue, we will read about colleagues who partner to help prepare graduate students to transition from more authentic university experiences to careers in industry. We will read about studies in teacher education that focus on helping improve candidate’s teaching and those that encourage the integration of technology in literacy instruction. There are also collaborative efforts between a museum and the Department of Education and a cross disciplinary collaboration between teacher education, counseling and school psychology programs. One article aims at expanding the horizons of the students through collaboration in the international classroom. In all these studies, university students value from enriched experiences designed by their professors.

Jones and Roan collaborated to develop more relevant curricula and experiences that prepare students for careers in Industry. This paper examines the industry-university advisory board as a vital example of collaboration that is necessary to prepare competitive graduates.

Sniad explored the lesson study experiences of veteran urban teachers participating in a school-university PDS partnership. After engaging in a cooperative, structured cycle of teaching, reflecting, and revising the same lesson, the participants self-report gains in their teaching repertoire as well as perspectives on students’ classroom behaviors.

Kelting-Gibson, Karsted and Weikert wanted to determine the impact of a partnership between a museum and a department of education when opportunities arose to externally evaluate a Center at the museum. They also wanted to examine whether goals of the Center and the department were met by understanding participants’ knowledge and experience gained as a result of a visit. Findings determined that the goals of the museum and the department were met and the impact of the partnership was noteworthy.

Liwanag, Dresbach and Costello investigated the effects of collaborating to provide preservice teachers ways to integrate technology in literacy instruction. Data suggests that collaborating helped shape preservice teachers’ views about the crucial role of technology in teaching literacy. Implications regarding collaborative teaching practices in using technology for literacy teaching are also discussed.

Guess, Magnus, Bradley and Gibbs explored a collaborative training model involving faculty and students from teacher education, counseling, and school psychology programs. An overview of planning, implementation, and qualitative outcomes of the model is provided with an emphasis on faculty perspectives regarding lessons learned from the project. Training implications are discussed, particularly as related to the transport of collaboration ideals to actual practices and parallels between a training setting and the school context.

T.S. Carmichael and J. S. Carmichael explored the learning experience of students in two separate but integrated classes (Environmental Challenges of the Twenty First Century and Human Rights in the Middle East) taught recently at the American College of Norway. Assessment data and qualitative summaries of student learning highlight the value of integrative, collaborative learning activities. Student rankings indicate that all collaborative learning activities are effective at promoting learning. More importantly, students value collaborative interactions with colleagues from other countries more than any aspect of their learning experience.

Ray and Kalvaitis explored three ways in which collaborative teaching between their two different graduate-level courses—an educational research course and an educational technology course—maximized support for graduate students’ action research projects. Graduate students revealed that the collaborative teaching effort of their professors assisted their personal growth in technology applications and skills in addition to the original course content.

I commend my colleagues for their dedication and creativity. Through their collaboration, they model lifelong learning for their students and challenge their students even further.

Melody D’Ambrosio Deprez, Ed.D,
Feature Editor, Collaboration in Education
Associate Professor of Graduate Education
Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY