A challenge by Tom Bentley to embrace and harness collaboration as a means to creating the next wave of big gains in education planted a seed in the fertile soil of a couple of art teacher minds. The challenge to permeate boundaries and draw together external expertise to co-evolve a ‘many to many’ reciprocal relationship for teacher professional learning for art teachers became our vision. We devised a question; how can partnerships between schools, universities and other stakeholders be strengthened to support teachers in their implementation of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts?
Armed with this question and a curiosity to explore Bentley’s seven key features of collaboration, we set about assembling a group of contributors, with whom we then pushed the boundaries and thresholds of what we might collectively do to support art teachers in their enactment of the curriculum. Arts education volunteers and advocates, early career and senior academics, professional learning organisations, and arts classroom specialists working at the coal-face poured their collective energies and resources in to the shared ambition of supporting each other towards successful transformation of practice.
In our chapter, we share our perspective of navigating the professional learning partnership landscape, and reflect upon our experience of engaging with Bentley’s seven key features of collaboration as a model for cultivating professional learning partnerships.