This series of blogs will summarize and highlight important portions of our recent white paper, The New York City DOE/CUNY Library Collaborative: Bridging the Gap Between High School and College, which you can view here.
The whitepaper presents the progression and processes of the New York Collaborative Curriculum Revision Project (CCRP), a collaborative of high school teachers, college faculty, and librarians formed to build upon the new Common Core State Standards and better prepare students for post-secondary success. The posts will include sections quoted from the white paper as well as our own editorial.
Part 5: The CCRP as a Model
Creating a scalable and collaborative process was of the key goals of the CCRP, as we saw in Part 2. Before they could imagine sharing the success of this project with other districts, scalability was key to the roll out within NYC DOE itself. Understanding the requirements of the group and of its individual members is key to starting off on the right foot and keeping the course. This post will examine both sides of this coin.
A successful community of practice depends on the members’ continued focus on the purpose and objective as well as the members’ expertise, experiences and resources.
While flexibility is stressed in nearly every aspect of model adoption and execution, a dedication to the process and to the team is required on a basic level. This involves setting some expectations on how the group meets and works, and being purposeful in keeping some structure in place. The CCRP uses, and recommends, four “actions that cultivate communities of practice”:
- Design the community to evolve naturally
- Create opportunities for open dialog
- Provide opportunities for members to learn together
- Create a regular rhythm for the community
The role of group members will vary, depending on a number of factors. The center of the CCRP model is made of two librarians, one high school, one academic. Key among their goals is recruiting other members from their teaching peers. A facilitator and a documentarian, and perhaps an assistant, are also recommended by the Collective.
Recruiting open, engaging, dedicated participants is key to the success of any CCRP-like project. Find an entire section of tips and recommendations on this important and ongoing task.
What will taking on this kind of project require from you and your colleagues? Working in groups among and between the school levels, true collaboration can take time to develop. Organized time, pre-work and homework, and already busy schedules, location of meetings and a myriad of other concerns compound on the volunteer members. Learn how the Collective learned to work smarter, making the best use of time and technology to produce results.
Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.