Building a culture of collaboaration between teachers to enhance Student Voice Practice

CPD Nr.: 
Developed by: 
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, (NCCA) Ireland

Andy Hargereaves youtube clip on Deep Collaboration

NCCA, Focus on Learning Toolkit.

Purpose of the material: 
  1. To deepen teachers' understanding of the importance of professional collabaortion in support of education change – in this context – Providing opportunities for Student Voice in the education
  2. To provide an opportunity for participants to clarify their own thinking about the following:
  • the skills and dispositions that are important
  • The supports that are needed
  • The impact on the power dynamic in the classroom
  • How best to spread the Student Voice message and stories about Student Voice Practices within and between schools

Overhead Projector, screen and speakers

Prompt slides, including video and audio stimulus (see attached)

Prompts for World Cafe Conversations


Step 1: Reflect on positive professional learning experiences

Thank, pair , share

Invite participants to think about a positive professional development experiecne that they had?  What happened?  What made it a good experience?  What impact had the learning on your professional practice? 

Step 2: Discuss the characteristics of collaborative professional learning

The faciltator presents Slides 2 -4 highlighting what the research is telling us about effective professional learning

View Andy Hargreaves 11 minute clip about 'Deep collaboration'.   Invite participants to jot down any ideas in the clip that resonate with them.

Select the one big message they are taking from the clip and discuss it at their tables.  

Step 3: Opportunities for professional collaboration  

Individually consider, What are the opportunities for professional collaboration currently in the education system where you are working?

Find two other people in the room and share what these opportunities are, how well they are working and suggest ways that they could even be better.

Extension: Slide 7: Complete a Menti poll on the words you would use to describe a positive collaborative learning experience with colleagues.

Step 4:

Invite the group to consider the drawing of the boat – what do you see?  Take feedback

Second slide of boat – Ruffling the calm of the ocean floor – the world is littered with failed educational initiatives.  It is crucial that teachers are involved, their certainties ‘ruffled’ and opportunities provided to look again at their practice in a sustained manner.

Step 5: Characteristics of collaborative practice

Slide 9 describes what deep collaboration looks like.  – Opportunities to discuss these can be included.

Step 6: Presenting/sharing proposed student voice initiatives

Teachers/schools present their proposed student voice initiatives framed using the GROW template.  Groups/teachers work in pairs.  Group A has 15 minutes to present their initiative. Group B listens attentively.  They may only ask questions for clarification purposes.  They should not stray into telling /discussing their own plans.  The object of the exercise is to allow the Group A to fully share their proposed initiative.

After 15 minutes, the groups who have not shared find another partner and repeat the exercise.

Participants record the most important piece of learning they are taking from this exercise.  These can be displayed on Post-tis (Optional).

Extension: World Café Exercise

The participants are divided into four table of 5 persons at each table.  Each table considers one question for 8/10 minutes.  The group agrees the three most important ideas they have identified through their conversation.

One person from each table has five minutes to visit each of the other four tables.  (15 mins). They share the question they have been considering, their three ideas and invite each of the other tables, in turn, to endorse, disagree and/or add to their ideas.

The original groups re- convene, consider the additional feedback, re-consider the big five ideas from the group.

Conclusion: The facilitator invites  each group ti share their question and the five big ideas they have agreed as a group.   

How you can use this material in your practice: 

This workshop can be used to encourage professional collaboration and clarify participants' thinking and planning for Student Voice Initiaitves.


This material reflects only the author’s view; the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.