Unexpected outcomes: Collaborative research with schools, universities and government agencies

Year: 1996

Author: Hill, Susan, Potter, Gillian, Hickling, Barbara

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Collaborative research is made complex with competing agendas, different reward structures and work practices and these can lead to unexpected outcomes. In a project to examine 'Whole school approaches to early assistance in early literacy', University researchers, project officers and teachers worked in teams in a multi layered research collaboration. There were different forms of collaboration between teachers-researchers and teachers -project officers. The different forms of collaborations: comfortable, structured, critical and creative were raised for discussion.

This presentation will outline the collaborative research design and describe competing research agendas. Questions will be raised about different models of calibration exemplified in the research teams; school based teams, project officers teams and university teams. The presentation will explore the role of collaboration in teachers rethinking social and cultural influences on their own learning and children's experiences in early literacy.

The presentation will conclude with a description of unexpected outcomes to do with rethinking school structures arid work organisation. Issues in collaborative inter-organistional research such as maintaining a critical path through the research, balancing different work cultures and styles, reconciling different agendas and expected outcomes will discussed.