Genuine Collaboration Means There Is No 'Us and Them'

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To the Editor:

The Commentary by Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers really hit the nail on the head. Collaboration takes two because it needs a "willing partner," she writes.

Too often, a win-win approach means one side seeks to wins twice.

We as educators have many fake partners who do as Ms. Weingarten recounts: "They've praised me only when I've agreed with them, and questioned my motives when I've challenged them."

The only motive that should be assigned to collaboration partners is that they are committed to the collaboration process, in which there is no "us and them." Instead, everyone is addressing issues that matter to all involved. While groups may disagree on the approach to a solution, through collaboration they can agree that, together, they can find a better solution than when they simply confront each other.

Michael Barlow
Founding Member
Barlow Education Management Services LLC
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Vol. 34, Issue 14, Page 22

Published in Print: December 10, 2014, as Genuine Collaboration Means There Is No 'Us and Them'
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