Collaborative Learning in a Boundary Zone: A Case Study of Innovative Interinstitutional Collaboration in Israel

Edith Tabak, Ilana Margolin


This qualitative study focused on the collaboration between a school district and a college of education in Israel and aimed to explore how the participants created common understanding in order to promote educational change. The theoretical approach involved analyzing the institutional interconnections based on boundary practices and boundary objects and the ways these interconnections shaped the collaborative learning process, promoted educational change, and fostered educational leadership in the district and in the college. The study observed the formation of a community of practice within the boundary zone, which was developed over a three-year period by a group of 20 superintendents, the district head, and two teacher educators. Beyond concrete outcomes, such as improvement of pupils' scores on the state-mandated achievement tests, the study showed a transformation in the superintendents' perception of their roles and a cultural change in the district.


boundary objects; routines; distributed participation; reification; superintendents' leadership; educational district

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Copyright (c) 2015 Edith Tabak, Ilana Margolin

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