Collaboration between academics and teachers : a complex relationship

BEVINS, Stuart and PRICE, Gareth (2014). Collaboration between academics and teachers : a complex relationship. Educational Action Research, 22 (2), 270-284.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/09650792.2013.869181


Collaboration between academics and teachers has become increasingly prevalent over recent years. Whether its aim is joint research or continuing professional development for teachers, collaboration seems to offer a realistic opportunity for reducing the perceived gap between theory and practice. However, collaboration is not merely academics and teachers working together on a common project. It is complex in nature and involves a range of requirements that must be satisfied in order to maximise the potential of the relationship. In this paper we will theorise on the nature of academics and teachers working together and suggest that a working relationship between academic researchers and teachers can be one of three models: client–supplier, a coercive relationship or a collaborative relationship. We identify and unpack specific factors that underpin collaboration and suggest a number of concrete actions to establish collaboration between academics and teachers. We draw heavily from existing literature and our own reflections on two collaborative projects with which we have recently been involved. We use data from these projects to provide a number of anecdotes from the teachers who participated to support our own reflections. Finally, we suggest that further research should investigate the different ways attempts to collaborate fail, to build a more complete sense of the problems and potential of this special relationship. Keywords: collaboration; continuing professional development; action research; science teachers

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: 10.1080/09650792.2013.869181
Depositing User: Sandra Baker
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2014 09:14
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2015 07:01

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