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Complementing Collaborative Practices: A Case Study in a Secondary Church School Setting

Authors: Heathcliff Schembri, Claire Sciberras,
  • Institute: Institute of Community Services
  • Symposium: Social Well-being, Sports and Health
  • Day: 2 , Session: 2 , Location: Conference Hall 2
  • Session Type: Medium 15 min (Presentation of ongoing research developments and findings) , Start: 12:30 , End: 12:55

Abstract

Collaboration between teachers and Learning Support Educators is crucial for the smooth running of an inclusive classroom setting. It is often noted that while in primary school settings in Malta such collaboration is frequent and happens more naturally, in secondary school settings this is often perceived as problematic and presents a number of challenges. This quantitative study aims to gather the opinions of teachers and Learning Support Educators in a secondary church school setting in Malta about what can be learnt from current practices to strengthen collaboration between educators in the context of the COACTION Model.

The researchers were approached by the School Leadership Team of a particular secondary church school in Malta and expressed their wish to learn more about ways how to promote collaboration across all year groups. The School Leadership Team also explained how they would like to implement an action plan within their School Development Plan which is evidence-based and stems from the experiences of the educators working at this school. This research is innovative as two researchers from outside the school setting are involved to help the school community address a gap through bottom-up research. During the scholastic year 2020-2021, the two researchers have carried out professional development sessions with the teaching staff which served both as an introduction to the project but also as capacity building. During the scholastic year 2021-2022, the researchers are carrying out further professional development sessions and gathering quantitative data from two sets of questionnaires. Through these questionnaires, the researchers shall gather information about current and future implementation of the COACTION Model (Clarity in roles; Open Communication; Accountability; Conflict Resolution; Trust; Intrinsic Motivation; Optimistic Approach; Nurturing Attitude). This data will then be analysed and the research will reach its final stage where a whole-school action plan is designed and implemented.