Collab Fact Sheet FINAL by nRJdsL


									                     Connections to Learning
                                           Fact Sheet


       Collaboration is essential in meeting the diverse needs of students and in collectively
addressing barriers of learning. Uniting community members, parents, families, outside organizations,
schools, and students makes for a more efficient and effective workplace (Adelman & Taylor, 1998).
The Harvard Family Research Project identified a form of accountable, complimentary learning that
looked beyond the classroom to all dimensions of a child to see what influenced learning. Breaking
down the individual “silos” of programs, organizations, staff and other supports of schools was a key
success factor. Although each silo is created to help students, there are often disconnections between
the parties involved. The process that was intended to help becomes counteractive. When barriers are
knocked down and parties collaborate effectively, the rate of student learning and success greatly
increases (Weiss, et al 2005).

        Stakeholders can collaborate to work smarter, and not harder to break down students learning
barriers (Adelman & Taylor, 1998). Barriers of learning can be defined as any component of a child’s
life that affects learning such as; social, emotional, and psychological, health, and environmental
factors. These are the domains on which Connections to Learning was built. Mapping out resources
and needs, and applying them to already existing programs, or new mechanisms will allow for
communities, families, and schools to produce positive changes in student well-being. Out of school
programs and family involvement are critical to children’s learning and achievement (Weiss, 2005).
Collaboration and coordination between school and the community are essential to linking common
goals and resources.

        The creation of a resource oriented team, such as the Connections to Learning team, focuses
not on a specific subject area, but rather on collaboration to identify needs, clarify resources, and find
the best use of practices and programs to maximize efficiency and effectiveness (Adelman & Taylor,
1998). Successful teams have: clear job descriptions of individuals; staff requirements to be a member;
active stakeholder participation; tangible size that reflects needs, interests, and related factors; core
members committed to collaboration; leader, facilitator and recorder; and technology (Adelman &
Taylor, 1998).

       There are many programs in schools today that help students and produce results. There are
concerns that there are programs ingrained in school culture that may not address greatest need.
With the growing number of programs it is important to choose the best practice the programs
matched to school and student needs for maximum effectiveness. Through staff collaboration and
application of the Connections to Learning approach, the school can improve efficiency, prevent
overlap, and reduce duplication (Adelman & Taylor, 2000).

       Schools can not solve all the problems that children and communities face. However, through
multi-disciplinary collaboration, addressing barriers to learning, and creating partnerships they can
develop safe, caring and healthy environments that positively impact the well-being of students.
                   Connections to Learning
                                        Fact Sheet

                               “Collaboration” Citations
Adelman, H.S., & Taylor, L. (1998). Involving teachers in collaborative efforts to better address the
barriers to student learning. Preventing school failure, 42(2).

Adelman, H.S., & Taylor, L. (2000). Promoting mental health in schools in the midst of school reform.
Journal of School Health, 70(5).

Wiess, H., Coffman, J., & Bouffard, S. (2005) The Evaluation Exchange: A periodical on emerging
strategies in evaluating child and family services. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Center

To top