The Collaborative Learning Community – self audit (Pt 3 in a series)

Applying the principles of the Collaborative Learning Community to your own organisation will allow you to plan your own path to school improvement.

As you digest the two previous posts, now would be a good time to consider how they might correspond to your own journey towards becoming an integrated CLC. To help you accomplish this, we have created a simple form, published below, for you to download and complete.

The audit is intended to assist you in answering the first two questions in the process of developing your CLC. The questions are:

What are we trying to achieve? – an integrated collaborative learning community that provides for all of our students an education that represents the wisdom of the education community

Where are we now? – as illustrated in our self audit

How to complete the self-audit

Self audit form

The three sources of knowledge run along the X-axis and the areas of knowledge are on the Y-axis. Using the four stages of the journey, decided which stage you are at in each of the nine boxes and mark it in the box. It might be useful to introduce a colour code for this, such as our suggestion below:

Red – Isolated
Amber/yellow – Initiated
Green – Engaged
Blue – Integrated

Initially try fill in the audit intuitively and on your own. Then refine and share it with your colleagues. The dialogue it generates might well be as useful to you as the exercise itself.

To provide a greater sense of perspective, reflect back to an earlier stage of your journey, say a few years ago, and compare it to the present day. You should find that this will help you establish a picture of the trajectory you are on. Regardless of the current position, momentum is important; regression or stagnation during the journey sap energy and also require more energy to negate. However, progression is accompanied by its own positive dynamic and will energize your collaborative learning community.

Interpreting the results

If you find that you are at the same stage in your development in all nine boxes, then the next stage for you is to devise a strategy that will take you to the next level.

If you are at different stages with different sources and areas, this could represent an opportunistic approach rather than the outcome of a clear strategy. Maybe now is the time to take a more rational approach. In reality this might not be easy to achieve so a fragmented approach might be inevitable. But at least you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you are on a progressive trajectory, then build upon the energy that comes from this. If you are going backwards start by consolidating what you have rather than trying to build on weak structures.

Moving to action

Once you have completed the exercise to your own satisfaction you can then move to the next stage of our approach to school improvement by determining …

What should we do next to move from A to B?

In our next post we will examine how best to undertake the decision making process.