SAIS Collaboration Series
Published October 2014
Over the last five years, a number of themes have emerged in independent schools. Non-cognitive skills, leadership skills, and global competency have been emphasized as we seek to equip students for an unknown future. Project-based learning, maker learning, flipped instruction, and brain-based learning have continued to gain greater attention and wider use in the classroom. The impact and debates over technology continue, begging some questions, but overall connecting us and making the impossible, possible. Information has never been so accessible, and still each breakthrough brings new philosophical questions about privacy, use, safety, balance, and the lasting impact on our lives.
Amidst this whirlwind another theme has emerged – a greater interest in collaboration. Collaboration is a popular topic among educators. In the classroom, collaboration is one of the four key learning and innovation competences identified as 21st century skills. In schools, teachers are encouraged to collaborate by moving outside their classrooms to share best practices and tackle problems. More teachers are also teaching collaboratively so they can connect subjects and illustrate relevancy. Departments are encouraged to collaborate so they can identify areas for improvement. Facilities are being designed and renovated in order to create spaces for organic and planned collaboration.
Schools benefit from collaboration. Collaboration with a diverse group of outside parties fosters innovation and creativity. Schools gain fresh insight into how to structure programs or share resources. Schools that collaborate on service projects also demonstrate their desire to be part of real-world solutions. They develop relationships in their community that translate into a deep pool of resources for future projects.
This booklet highlights some of the many collaborations taking place in and among SAIS schools. Strategic collaborations will be a game changer for schools in the coming years. Understanding what your school has to offer and seeking like-minded partners, can help your school expand its reach and impact. What existing and new collaborations might benefit your school and your community?