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The shared work of learning: lifting educational achievement through collaboration

Schools Students Economic equality Australia

Key findings:

Overall, student performance in Australia is not improving. But some schools in Australia, serving highly disadvantaged students and families, are successfully using collaboration to support student achievement.

Common features of the practices in these diverse schools can be applied to strategies for wider, systemic change.

This research examines how the schools and their partners use:

  • Professional collaboration to support, sustain, evaluate and refine professional learning, and to access expertise, data and relevant practice.
  • Local collaboration with other schools, universities, employers and community organisations to provide structure and resources for student achievement.
  • Collaboration with students, parents and local community to build trust and social capital.

Collaboration – the sharing of effort, knowledge and resources in the pursuit of shared goals – is created through a wide range of flexible, trust-based relationships.

The high impact schools featured in this research:

  • actively seek connections and resources that create value for students;
  • develop ‘local learning systems’ to translate connections and resources into concrete actions; and
  • apply a consistent rationale, focused on student learning, to choose and prioritise collaborative projects and relationships.
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