In addition to supporting educationally relevant practices, collaborative partnerships are essential for the advancement of student participation and developmental, functional and academic advancement. As we discussed in previous modules, collaboration is required by IDEA and is a central determinate of student success. Leveraging collaborative partnerships to support participation is essential and developing the competencies for building and sustaining collaborative partnerships is essential. Blue-Banning et al. (2002) describes six themes of collaborative family-professional partnership that include: communication, commitment, equality, skills, trust, and respect. These themes are consistent in the literature for professional – professional collaborative relationships as well.
- For more information read: Blue-Banning, M., Summers, J., Frankland, H. C., Nelson, L., & Beegle, G., (2004). Dimensions of family and professional partnerships: Constructive guidelines for collaboration. Exceptional Children, 70(2), 167-184.
- In addition, you may want to return to and review the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR) that we discussed during the Year 3 Orientation and consider your competencies in building and sustaining collaborative partnerships.
If our ultimate goal is to expand a student’s capacity for independent living and robust secondary education and vocational outcomes, we must effectively collaborate with all members of the student’s team, both within and beyond the school, to effect needed change. The qualities of effective collaboration are common goals, shared responsibility, shared accountability, and shared decision making. A way to think about this collaboration is as follows:
- For additional information on the value of collaborating to design educational pathways and participation read:
- Anrig, G. (2015). How we know collaboration works. Educational Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb15/vol72/num05/How-We-Know-Collaboration-Works.aspx
- Strauss, V. (2013). Why collaboration is vital to creating effective schools. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/02/why-collaboration-is-vital-to-creating-effective-schools/
You might be asking yourself, “How do I strengthen collaborative partnerships that enhance active student engagement in all aspects of student life? Where do I begin? What do I focus on?” Like we have seen in the previous examples, what we do and how we do it is based on the specific context as well as the developmental age and stage of our students. As a team we might want to ask the following questions:
Understanding one’s communication strengths and needs as well as the contextual, attitudinal, and/or cultural affordances and barriers to effectiveness partnerships is essential to building and sustaining interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships that enhance student participation and outcomes. Tools like Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR) can support professional development and help us identify the knowledge and skills, attitudes and perspectives, and resources that we need to be effective collaborators in educational settings.
- Review the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR) distributed and discussed during the second year orientation.
- For more information read: Laverdure, P., Cosbey, J., Gaylord, H., & LeCompte, B. (2017). Providing Collaborative and Contextual Service in School Contexts and Environments. OT Practice, 22(15), CE 1 – 15.
Reflect on the ways in which contextual and developmental turning points influence the development and sustainability of collaborative relationships with other professionals with whom we interact in educational settings. Comment on your collaboration skills. How might you use your strengths to collaboratively design individualized and educationally relevant interventions that take into account these turning points, foster participation, and improve the independent living, education and vocational outcomes of your students?