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Leading Collaborative Learning : Empowering Excellence - Lyn D. Sharratt

Leading Collaborative Learning

Empowering Excellence

Paperback Published: 14th March 2016
ISBN: 9781483368979
Number Of Pages: 320

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Leadership, collaborative learning, and student achievement – discover what works!

This resource-rich book provides a straightforward, strategic path to achieving sustainable communities of collaborative learners. Research-proven inquiry techniques, vignettes, case studies and action-oriented protocols help you build strong learning relationships for high-impact student achievement.

System leaders, principals and teachers learn to:

  • Integrate diverse views and perspectives
  • Build trust and hear every voice
  • Leverage key resources and processes
  • Build students’ cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills
  • Use “Assessments-in-Action” to improve, monitor and sustain progress
  • Build a collaborative culture through learning together
Use this go-to guide to transform your school from a place of ‘good intentions’ to a center of intentional practice today!

About the Author

Lyn Sharratt coordinates the doctoral internship program in Educational Administration for the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Lyn is the former Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Services in the York Region District School Board, a large Canadian school district, where she and her curriculum team analyzed assessment data and developed a comprehensive literacy improvement program which they launched with the cooperation of senior leadership, principals in over 200 schools, and 9,000 teachers.

The continuously improving 14 Parameter program resulted in increased achievement for a diverse, multicultural, and multilingual population of over 115,000 students, and the district became the top performing district in Ontario. Lyn has been a curriculum consultant and administrator, and she has also taught all elementary grades and secondary-age students in inner-city and rural settings. Lyn has analyzed and commented on public policy for a provincial trustee organization, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, has taught pre-service education at York University, and led in-service professional learning in a provincial teachers’ union head office.

She is lead author, with Michael Fullan, of Realization: The Change Imperative for Increasing District-Wide Reform (Corwin, 2009); Putting FACES on the Data: What Great Leaders do! (Corwin, 2012), and with author/colleague Gale Harild, Good to Great to Innovate: Recalculating the Route to Career Readiness (Corwin, 2015). Currently, Lyn is on the Advisory Board of the International System and School Leadership Programs for the Ontario Principals’ Council, is an Author Consultant for Corwin Publishing and consults internationally, working with states, systems, school districts, administrators, curriculum consultants, and teachers in Australia, Canada, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom systematically increase all students’ achievement by putting FACES on the data and taking intentional action to move from Good to Great to Innovate.

Beate Planche is an educational practitioner, consultant and researcher. Beate is a sessional instructor in Graduate Education for the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Through her consulting work, Beate provides research, consulting and coaching for educators in the areas of literacy programming, collaborative inquiry, and inquiry-based learning for students. Beate is a former Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services in the York Region District School Board as well as a former Superintendent supervising schools, a principal, vice principal and a co-director of a private school.

During Beate’s tenure as Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services, the department she led served over 200 schools and 9,000 teachers through their work with Area Superintendents, area Learning Networks and their work with new teachers, and teachers seeking individual support. In her 20 years in educational administration, Beate has led in-service professional learning and has supported and mentored many new administrators, as well as curriculum and teacher leaders. Beate taught elementary as well as secondary students, spending a large portion of her career in Special Education working with students identified with learning disabilities.

Beate has been an adjunct professor supporting teacher candidates for York University, has worked on contract with Ontario’s Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, and, is presently on the Boards of Learning Forward-Ontario and the Character Community Foundation of York Region. Beate is the author of over 20 published articles and reviewed papers.

Industry Reviews

"Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is the definitive source for your comprehensive step by step implementation of collaborative learning. This book belongs on every educator's desk."

-- Mike Greenwood, District Teacher Leader,

"Is your school ready to learn to meet student needs as a team? If so, Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is the book to help your staff learn together in order to improve student learning."

-- Renee Peoples, Teaching and Learning Coach

"I think the particular strength of this book is that it addresses something that is quite difficult to do, but easy to talk about-that is, establishing a collaborative culture of inquiry in a school. So many leaders talk about collaboration, but then lead by telling. This book helps leaders who may not have had the best leadership models themselves "see" what it looks like to "co-labor" (a turn of the phrase that is particularly welcome and illustrative, in my opinion) in a school setting for the good of teachers and kids."

-- Jo Beth Jimerson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership

"This is more than just another book on school leadership or school improvement. Collaborative learning is essential for success, and educators working in any capacity can find information here about how their role contributes to the process. From system leaders to school leaders to teachers to students, this book clearly explains the necessity of everyone's participation in collaborative learning processes. As the authors state, participation in collaboration "is a powerful way to deepen educator capacity, to increase the value of the professional capital in the school, and to harness the power of the collective."

-- Melanie Mares Sainz, Instructional Coach
"This exceptional book is a rich and practical resource for leaders who realize the power of working together to improve schools. In a system where collaborative practices are the norm, student achievement and well-being becomes a shared responsibility. Deeper learning is maximized for everyone." -- Joanne Robinson, Director of Professional Learning, & Linda Massey, Associate Director of Professional Learning
"Recent advances in digitised technology tend to isolate learners but isolating teachers in their Professional Learning is dangerous. While collaborative inquiry may lead to deep and meaningful insights, this kind of work is easier to describe than practice. In this important book the authors examine what it actually means to `work together' for a common purpose. They understand the complexity and analyse its components. It is essential reading for leaders and teachers committed to improvement in students' learning through authentic research in the classroom. Full of practical advice backed up by years of successful experience - the ultimate collaborative resource." -- Alan Boyle, Author, Researcher, Consultant
"Finally, Beate Planche and Lyn Sharratt have delivered a bold definition, provocative insights, and a clear framework for Collaborative Learning. They compel us in Leading Collaborative Learning to recognize that collaboration is a focused learning while outlining outcomes of a quality collaborative process. Sharratt and Planche have created a vital challenge for improving systems, schools and classroom practice. This book is a must read for all who wish to make a difference for the future now." -- Bill Hogarth, Director of Education (retired)
"Sharratt and Planche understand that effective collaborative learning means co-laboring at all levels throughout the system. In this book, they help readers be better at co-laboring, be it at the school or systems level, and they offer extensive processes and resources to make collaborative learning be growth-producing for all involved."
-- Jennifer Abrams, Consultant
"Everyone knows that educators need to work better together-but the question of how to do so has rarely been addressed beyond the level of glittering generalities. In this breakthrough volume, Lyn Sharratt and Beate Planche provide busy professionals with precise action plans to build powerful and sustainable collaborative cultures in our schools. This is an indispensable contribution for all teachers, principals, and system-level leaders who are serious about uplifting learning for all students." -- Dennis Shirley, Professor Education & Editor-in-Chief
"Lyn Sharratt and Beate Planche have done us all a great favor by writing this book. This well-researched resource provides a useful vocabulary for talking about and understanding Collaborative Learning, describes an incredibly helpful set of tools so that anyone can use them to lead collaborative conversations, and clearly defines a theory of action to help us organize and ground our collaborative work."
-- From the Foreword by Jim Knight, President, Director
"It is clear that Sharratt and Planche have themselves done everything that is in the book. What is even clearer is that they have helped scores of others engage in these actions suited to their own situations. This is a book that has crystal clear concepts, co-learning galore, guided by research, grounded in practice-all devoted to deep learning by students and adults alike." -- From the Afterword by Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
"The credibility of Sharratt and Planche, two of Ontario's most respected curriculum leaders comes from the fact that they do not only write about what works, they have done the work! Their call for deeper learning as a result of collaboration or co-labouring takes this idea to a new level of much-needed inquiry. Their discussion of the research-informed elements for authentic learning and the related competencies further validate their assertions. I appreciate the holistic nature of their work with the focus on cognitive, interpersonal and intra-personal skills. The deconstruction of ideas related to innovation, creativity and growth mindsets and the identification of the specific behaviours of classroom teachers that build strong learning cultures will contribute significantly to our knowledge base." -- Avis Glaze, Former Chief Student Achievement Officer of Ontario, and Founding CEO
"If we are to move forward with making learning the central focus of schools, then we need to understand how to get past adult issues and politics, and concentrate more on authentic collaboration, which when done well can improve learning among adults and students. In Leading Collaborative Learning, Lyn Sharratt and Beate Planche show us how to do that." -- Peter DeWitt, Ed.D. Author & Consultant
"This valuable resource explains clearly and persuasively why collaborative learning really is a good idea. It challenges you to reflect deeply on your current collaborations, and offers helpful definitions, examples and tools, whatever your role in the system. A great read!"
-- Dr. Louise Stoll, Professor of Professional Learning
"Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence is a timely, important and compelling call to collective action and professional agency. It reminds us that teachers working together on real issues of learning and teaching can be a powerful catalyst for change. This is a must read book for anyone interested in securing and sustaining authentic school and system improvement." -- Alma Harris, Director, Institute of Educational Leadership
"Good collaboration, collaborative skills and behaviors increasingly are critical to our success in teaching and learning, and in the organization of education. Leading Collaborative Learning provides analysis and roadmaps for understanding, building and developing collaboration in the work of schools and setting the stage for deeper learning. It builds on evidence from the field and points to actions we can take to strengthen collaboration. It is an important contribution, a good read with intriguing ideas for us each to reflect upon."
-- Gavin Dykes, Chair and Co-Founder

"Lyn Sharratt and Beate Planche not only highlight the power of collaboration they go further to identify the key narratives to which this collective needs to attend. Their notion of collaborative learning involves systems and school leaders building collective capacity, energizing knowledge together, and moving schools from being places of "plans and good intentions" to centers of "purposeful practice" on the part of all teachers who then empower students to do the same. Who does not want to part of such a school?"


-- From the Introduction by John Hattie, Laureate Professor, Director
"The major strength of the text addresses two points: the opportunity to really connect the need to engage in collaborative processes as a way to improve schools, and the way in which that same learning assists teachers in developing similar processes in their classrooms with students." -- Chad Ransom, Director of Second Language Services

This is an excellent read for educators and teachers alike.

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As professional reading in the area of education.

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Foreword by Jim Knight
Leading Collaborative Learning
Moving Towards Excellence
Guided by Research
Definitions Set the Stage
It Matters How We Lead
Understanding Leading Collaborative Learning Through the Research
Broad Themes Emerging from the Research
Collaborative Learning Cultivates Title-free Leadership
A Pause for Reflection
From Theory into Action
Conditions for System Success
Constructivism Frames our Approach to Inquiry
Collaborative Learning is Our Approach to Leading
Translating Our Theory of Action into Four Practical Elements
Element #1 Assessing the Plan
Element #2 Planning to Act
Element #3 Acting to Make Sense
Element #4 Making Sense to Refine and Learn
A Pause for Reflection
System Leaders Working Alongside School Leaders
The Importance of System Leadership
Leadership with Attitude - from Collegiality to Co-learning
Preparing Leaders to Lead Learning
Structures That Drive Learning
Voices from the Field
Applying the Theory of Action
A Pause for Reflection
School Leaders Learning Alongside Teacher Leaders
Leadership for Student Achievement and Collaborative Learning
Five Dimensions of Leadership
Contextual Factors that Build Collaboration
Using Leadership Influence
Practical First Steps Enabling Collaborative Inquiry
The Strong Case for Accomplished Teacher Leaders in Every School
Data That Matter
Time is an Issue
Voices from the Field - A Case Study
Applying the Theory of Action
A Pause for Reflection
Teachers Working Alongside Teachers
Unstructured and Structured Collaboration
Changing the ""What"" in Learning Conversations
Inquiry as Co-laboring
Learning Protocols as Scaffolds to Successful Collaborative Inquiry
Applying the Theory of Action
A Pause for Reflection
Teachers and Students Working Alongside Each Other
Teaching is Evolving
What's the Difference? Co-operative, Collaborative Learning and Co-learning
Authentic Learning Matters
Teachers as Stewards
Personalization and Differentiation Matters
Classroom Inquiry-based Learning - a Timely Approach
Student-Led Learning Walks
Applying the Theory of Action
A Pause for Reflection
Our Culminating Event
Epilogue by Dr. Michael Fullan
Appendix A: Survey Questions
Appendix B: A Protocol to Establish Norms of Engagement
Appendix C: Inhibiting and Enabling Conditions for Collaboration
Appendix D: Sample Collaborative Discussion Protocol
Appendix E: Benefits and Challenges of Networked Learning Communities
Appendix F: Guiding Questions for Leaders in the Establishment of a School Leadership Team
Appendix G: A Professional Learning Protocol - Sharing Student Work as a Driver for Co-Learning for Three to Four Participants
Appendix H: A Protocol for the Process of Co-Learning With and Without Release Time
Appendix I: Practical Beginnings to Inquiry Based Teaching and Learning
Appendix J: Assessment within Inquiry Processes

ISBN: 9781483368979
ISBN-10: 1483368971
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 14th March 2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1

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Lyn Sharratt

About the Author


Dr. Lyn Sharratt is a highly-accomplished practitioner, researcher, author, and presenter. She coordinates the doctoral internship program in Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Lyn has been a school superintendent, curriculum consultant and administrator, and she has also taught all elementary grades and secondary-age students in inner-city and rural settings.yn is an advisor for International School Leadership with the Ontario Principals’ Council, is an Author Consultant for Corwin Publishing and consults internationally, working with leaders at all levels, consultants, and teachers in Chile, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada to systematically increase all students’ achievement by putting FACES on the data and taking intentional action.

Visit Lyn Sharratt's Booktopia Author Page