Fundació Jaume BofillUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)


We are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Debats d’Educació by giving the educational community the opportunity to air its views

Collaboration for educational change

Who has to drive the changes needed by education in the future? How can we foster the commitment of the entire educational community to improving the education system? Can we make collaboration a genuine driving force for change that will facilitate the continuous improvement of learning processes? How are the roles and responsibilities in collaborative contexts redefined? How can other players outside the field of education be given co-responsibility?

In a society like ours, knowledge so pervades the whole range of economic and social activities that it can scarcely be confined to the scope of educational institutions or specific activity groups. In such a situation, we can surely not reasonably expect schools to be able to respond in isolation to the demands and opportunities generated in a world in which networked collaboration is progressively shaping the most significant forms of work, productivity and cultural output.

The fact is that outside the walls of educational institutions, and not necessarily within their immediate surroundings, families, other schools, associations, public, semi-public and private informal groups and other stakeholders have objectives which can often link up with the educational purposes and needs of a school. They may, then, not only be willing to collaborate, but will often have in place appropriate mechanisms and resources for this, through networks for cooperation of varying structures, extents and durations.

The organisational solutions inherent in the traditional school are not always versatile enough in order to respond with innovative solutions to a constantly changing context. In order to address this, educational institutions, just as other sectors of society have done, must learn to find new formulae allowing them to generate and collaborate on shared innovation projects comprising horizontal and flexible networks which may find ICT to be the most efficient instrument. Although to this end the web offers a powerful structure for collaboration, the expansion of innovation and social cohesion, we must not overlook the fact that the capacity of schools to innovate depends to a great extent on the flexibility which they enjoy as organisations in terms of shifting educational activity from their own institutions towards networked collaboration.

The study of genuine experiences of innovation in the field of education which have successfully established distinctive means of collaboration, with an extensive concept of the educational community, and an analysis of the conditions which education systems offer to allow these experiences to emerge, should serve to generate the type of knowledge which can be used to sustain and extend the forms of educational innovation required by the schools of the future.

Who should instigate the changes required by the education of the future? How can a commitment by the whole educational community to improving the educational system be fostered? Can we make collaboration a genuine driving force behind the continuous enhancement of learning processes? How are roles and responsibilities redefined in collaborative contexts? How can we also make non-educational actors jointly responsible?


The 3 things they have learned...

Juan Carlos Tedesco Juan Carlos Tedesco
Pedagogue and former Minister of Education of Argentina
  • 1The first thing I learned is that changing education is much more difficult than we imagine
  • 2I secondly learned that there is no contradiction between change and stability
  • 3Thirdly, I learned that the key is a change in the professional culture of teachers
Mireia Civís Mireia Civís
Primary school teacher and educationalist
  • 1Trust at the heart of the educational relationship
  • 2The need to create forums
  • 3Towards a model of distributed and relational leadership
Joan Ramon Alegret Joan Ramon Alegret
Manager of Education for Microsoft Ibérica
  • 1The necessary educational transformation will only be possible with the cooperation of society
  • 2We are unaware of the competencies and skills that workers will need in 10 to 20 years
  • 3We are moving towards a cooperation model led by civil society where public administrations are just another stakeholder
Miquel Àngel Essomba Miquel Àngel Essomba
Head of research group ERDISC (@ ERDISC_UAB)
  • 1Collaborate to change education or change education to collaborate?
  • 2In a complex society, does the key to collaboration lie in whom or in how?
  • 3Collaborate or cooperate?
Muriel Casals Muriel Casals
President of Òmnium Cultural from 2010 to 2015
  • 1Patience; not hurrying
  • 2Humility; we teachers do not know everything
  • 3Lectures are useful
Joan Subirats Joan Subirats
Professor of political science at UAB
  • 1The future is about shared education!
  • 2Diversify and Accept the Uncertainties and Complexities
  • 3Heroes or Participants? Learning Together in the Territory