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Cultivating professional learning partnerships in Tasmania: Tom Bentley’s 7 key features of collaboration

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 16:16 authored by Abbey MacDonaldAbbey MacDonald, Wightman, K

At the 2015 Education Transforms symposium, Tom Bentley challenged his audience to embrace and harness collaboration as a means to creating the next wave of big gains in education. From this presentation, a seed was planted 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 Tasmanian 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 new Australian Curriculum: The Arts? Armed with this question and a view to test Tom’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 could collectively do to support Tasmanian art teachers in their enactment of the Australian Curriculum – The Arts. 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 to enact the Australian Curriculum- The Arts. The preliminary outcome of this investment was a two day professional learning program, brought to life by the Professional Learning Institute, the Tasmanian Art Teachers Association and the University of Tasmania.

In our session, we will share with the audience our perspective of navigating the professional learning partnership landscape, and reflect upon our experience of adopting Tom Bentley’s seven key features of collaboration as a model for cultivating professional learning partnerships in Tasmania.


Publication title

Education Transforms 2017 Programme with Abstracts


Peter Underwood Centre




Faculty of Education


University of Tasmania

Place of publication

Hobart, Tasmania

Event title

Education Transforms 2017

Event Venue

Hobart, Tasmania

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Teacher and instructor development

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    University Of Tasmania