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Andy Hargreaves, a leading authority on educational administration, says Manitoba educators should focus on what's best for students in the wake of the K-12 review.

A call to collaboration

Teamwork best response to change, according to Joan Irvine lecturer Andy Hargreaves

January 24, 2020 — 

Come what may of the province’s K-12 commission’s report, Andy Hargreaves, a leading authority on educational administration, shares advice for Manitoba educators: It’s time to come together.

“Whatever kind of change is coming, the question should be: How do we get education professionals to work together effectively, and how can they work with the public, rather than setting one against the other?” Hargreaves said in phone interview.  “I think this is going to be the most positive way forward.”

Glaze

GLAZE

And Hargreaves should know, he’s worked with educators and politicians in some five regions through periods of system-wide educational reform, including Ontario (1994) and Nova Scotia (2018) whose reviews were conducted by Avis Glaze, the lead consultant in Manitoba’s review. And he’ll be sharing those experiences during a lecture on Feb. 3 at the Faculty of Education.

Hargreaves’ message comes as prescient for Manitoba educators bracing for a K-12 review, expected to be completed this spring. In response, Hargreaves proposes a model of collaborative professionalism, a concept he and co-author Michael O’Connor expand on in a book of the same title.  

Hargreaves describes two approaches to collaborative professionalism. One group emphasizes relationships, trust and about informality. An example of this approach would be a principal who tours their school, expressing interested in what is happening, rather than staying in their office, formulating agendas and scheduling meetings to realize those plans.

Another group emphasizes deliberate designs and structures. This could apply to networks, collaborative planning and assessment reviews. They establish clear roles and responsibilities—where everybody knows exactly what they’re doing. These people have a firm grasp of expected outcomes and protocols that guide interactions.

“So, the collaboration isn’t fluffy, but it’s focused on the need to make a difference,” Hargreaves said of the second group.

There’s a time and a place for both approaches—what Hargreaves calls the solidarity of relationships.

Appeal to all stakeholders

Because the concept of collaborative professionalism calls on all stakeholders to take action, Hargreaves says his lecture holds broad appeal, from teachers, other educators, teacher-educators, student-teachers, people thinking of coming into teaching and . . . “Anybody who is concerned about community involvement in public education, and who are concerned about how their community can work with other communities.”

Hargreaves is speaking as this year’s Joan Irvine lecturer.

Irvine first served as a rural-Manitoba schoolteacher, joining staff at Manitoba Teachers’ College in 1964. The following year, she joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba when the college closed and staff joined the university.

Irvine’s career was characterized by her ability to instill confidence and fulfilment in co-workers and students by motivating them to muster their best efforts.  Bearing broader objectives in mind, Irvine taught students to question their work through a lens of critical inquiry. And in retirement, work continued, developing the Early Years Program, engaging faculty and students on challenging issues while working to build bridges between the Faculty and community schools.

Register for the event here.

What: Leading Through Change in Education

When: Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

Time: Reception at 6 p.m., lecture starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Room 290, Education Building, Fort Garry Campus, U of M

  • RSVP optional at 474-9001.
  • Paid parking at University parkade.
  • Free parking available on campus at St. Andrew’s College.

For more information, contact:

Charlie McDougall, communications coordinator, Faculty of Education, 204-474-7402, or email: Charlie [dot] McDougall [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

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