Collaboration requires understanding that at least two parties


Defining collaboration requires understanding that at least two parties are interested and willing to work and interact together towards a common goal. During a collaboration, all parties contribute equally to the desired goal in which the process brings resources and skills to all that are involved (Taylor et al., 2014). Collaboration occurs heavily within education and the school systems. Whether it is between educators, schools and parents, or schools and communities overall, collaborations are consistent within these institutions to strive towards creating a quality education for students.

The best practices of collaboration between schools and families involve using a person-centered planning approach (Taylor et al., 2014). This allows students to be involved in their own plans and ensures that the “values and desired outcomes” are prioritized within their education plans (Taylor et al., 2014). Other important practices for collaborations between schools and families involve higher family involvement and conflict management control (Taylor et al., 2014). With family involvement, schools would then be able to understand what needs to be targeted. However, with working among various personalities and opinions, conflict is inevitable, which means having appropriate conflict management would maintain professionalism within the collaboration and allows for the situations to avoid escalation.

Collaboration among school personnel can involve co-teaching among teachers in one classroom (Taylor et al., 2014). One teacher would be able to teach while the other observes or assists and the role would reverse as needed. Incorporating school personnel who are not teachers would also be a positive contribution to the collaboration due to their nature of being able to be a facilitator. This is needed to maintain a “positive atmosphere and cohesiveness within the team” (Taylor et al., 2014).

When collaborations occur among schools and communities, it involves collaboration in early childhood and transitions to adult living (Taylor et al., 2014). Thus, collaboration needs clear communication of what is needed for the child in order to find services and programs that match the values and goals of the family and personnel involved. Other important practices include having a positive attitude toward change, being flexible with working on planning and different services, and taking the initiative on what needs to be worked on together to achieve the desired goal (Taylor et al., 2014).

Collaboration is highly important within special education because there is a heavy load of planning that occurs to ensure the child receives quality care and education (Taylor et al., 2014). Children that require special education need a strong team of collaborators due to the needs they have that require different personnel from the school and community to work together.

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