Experience Of School-to-School Collaborations: Development of A Grounded Theory by Situation Analysis Approach

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Professor of the Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iran

2 MA, Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iran


Objectives: One of the most significant developments in school leadership is how schools have learned to cooperate in various fields for many reasons. Therefore, the current research aims to represent the experiences of school community members from innovative and undiscovered situations and processes of "school-to-school cooperation" which have been useful in school leadership and academic achievement of students.y
Materials and methods: This research was conducted with a qualitative approach and Grounded theory method with Clark’s Situation Analysis model. The research field was Education in Kurdistan province and the potential participants in the research were members of the school community (principals, deputies, teachers, parents, etc.) who had the experience of school-to-school cooperation and collaboration. Therefore, 33 people were purposefully and critically invited to actively participate in the research. Data were collected by using a semi-structured interview protocol. Coding (open, axial, and selective) was used to analyze the data obtained from the interview. The position is depicted by analyzing different types of school-to-school collaboration and by examining human and inhuman components, individual and collective factors, discourse structures, and cultural, social, economic, spatial, and temporal components. Finally, maps of the situation, social worlds/arenas, and positions were drawn and analyzed as stages of the level analysis situation. In the present study, and after data coding, strategies such as the long and active participation of the researcher in the research field, using voice recorders and taking notes to record data, searching for inconsistent evidence, and obtaining feedback from participants were used to increase the validity and reliability of the research.d
Discussion & Conclusions: The findings of the research showed that the logic of the formation of diverse structures of school-to-school cooperation in most cases was to improve the condition of students, eliminate educational injustice, synergy, share resources and expertise, and improve all educational and educational indicators in schools. School community members, especially principals, played an effective role in this situation. The findings of the research showed that if the members of the school community have enough motivation for school-to-school cooperation, common goals, and interests, and by delegation of the authority of schools, they can achieve academic achievement by exchanging experiences and educational equipment with other schools and they can help students and teachers' professional development. The findings had practical implications for the members of the school community: first, school-to-school cooperation cannot be effective until the members of the school community have a proper understanding of how students learn. Second, it shows that extra-school cooperation strengthens the tendency of schools to self-manage; one of the important actions of the principals in cooperation with other schools is to empower the members of the school community and prepare them to accept managerial responsibilities. Third, the findings of the present research confirm the importance of teamwork and group work culture; one of the best ways to motivate cooperation is to prepare a group reward plan and repeat team-building exercises.y


Ainscow, M. (2016). Collaboration as a strategy for promoting equity in education: Possibilities and barriers. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 1(2), 159–172.
Armstrong, P. W., Brown, C., & Chapman, C. J. (2021). School‐to‐school collaboration in England: A configurative review of the empirical evidence. Review of Education, 9(1), 319-351.
Babai Salanqoch, E.; Massoud, M.; Zamani, B. & Rabiei, K. (2016). Situation analysis as a method for research About the Islamic city. Studies of the Islamic Iranian City Quarterly, (7) 27, 30-45. [In Persian]
Berwick, G., and Matthews, P. (2007). The teaching school concept. London: The London Leadership Strategy.
Burton, T. (2015). Exploring the Impact of Teacher Collaboration on Teacher Learning and Development. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/3107.
Bush, T. (2010). Theories Of Leadership and Educational Management. 3rd edn. London: Sage. [In Persian]
Chapman, C. (2015). From one school to many: Reflections on the impact and nature of school federations and chains in England. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 43(1), 46–60.
Chapman, C. (2018). School-to-School Collaboration: Building Collective Capacity through Collaborative Enquiry. In: Connolly, M., Eddy-Spicer, D. Henning., James, C. ana Kruse, Sh, editors. The SAGE Handbook of School Organization. SAGE Publications Ltd. p 540-561.
Clarke, A. E. (2007). Feminisms, grounded theory, and situational analysis. Na.
Clarke, A.E. (2005). Situational analysis: Grounded Theory after the Postmodern Turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 
Clarke, A.E. Friese, , Carrie and Washburn, C.R. (2015). Situational analysis in practice: mapping research with grounded theory, Walnut Creek, CA Coast Press, Inc.
Collarbone, P., and West-Burnham, J. (2008). Understanding systems leadership: Securing equity and excellence in education. London: Network Continuum.
Collins, A., Ireson, J., Stubbs, S., Nash, K., and Burnside, P. (2005). New models of headship: Federations – Does every primary school need a headteacher? Key implications from a study of federations in The Netherlands. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership.
Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach (3rd ed.). Sage Publications, Inc. [In Persian]
DfES. (2004). The Five-Year Strategy for Children and Learners. London: Department for Education and Skills.
Fang, G., Chan, P. W. K., & Kalogeropoulos, P. (2022). The effects of school-to-school collaboration on student cognitive skills: Evidence from propensity score analysis. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 31(3), 193-203.
Farastkhah, M. (2019). Qualitative research method in social sciences with an emphasis on “grounded theory”, Tehran, Agah Publications  [In Persian]
Gold, A. (2010). Leading with values. In M. Coleman and D. Glover (eds), Educational leadership and management: Developing insights and skills. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Hennink, M., Hutter, l. & Bailey, A. (2020). Qualitative Research Methods. Sage Publication Limited, Thousand Oaks.
Higham, R., Hopkins, D., and Matthews, P. (2009). System leadership in practice. London: Routledge Falmer.
Honig, M.I. & Seashore-Louis, K. (2007). A new agenda for research in educational leadership: A conversational review. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(1), 138-148.
Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press:
Liu, J. (2021). Building education groups as school collaboration for education improvement: a case study of stakeholder interactions in District A of Chengdu. Asia Pacific Education Review, 22(3), 427-439.
Middlewood, D., Abbott, I., Netshandema, V., & Whitehead, P. (2017). Collaborative school leadership: The more heads the better. In P. Miller (ed.), Cultures of educational leadership: Global and international responses. London: Springer.
Middlewood, D., Abbott, L. & Robinson, S. (2018). Collaborative School Leadership: Managing a Group of Schools. London: Bloomsbury Academic: 
Miller, P. (2016). Exploring School Leadership in England and the Caribbean: New Insights from a Comparative Approach. London: Bloomsbury Academic
Miller, P. W. (2018). The nature of school leadership: global practical perspectives. London, Palgrave Macmilan. [In Persian]
Mulford, B. (2005). The international context for research in educational leadership. Educational Management Administration & leadership, 33(2), 139-154. Policy and Practice. Paris: OECD.
Onfeldt, M., Farmer, S., McQueen, K., & Grissom, J. (2015). Teacher collaboration in instructional teams and student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 52(3): 475-514.
Piot, L., and Kelchtermans, G. (2016). The micorpolics of distributed leadership: Four casestudies of school federations. Educational Management Administration Leadership, 44(4), 632–49.
Pont, B., Nusche, D. & Moorman, H. (2008). Improving School Leadership. Vol. 1: Policy and practice. Paris: OECD.
Safari, A.; Abdullahi, B. & Sabouri, F. (2018). Cooperation between school teachers and improving the quality of the teaching process- learning, School Administration, 7(3), 179-193. [In Persian]
Santane, S. (2017). Beyond neoliberalism: Education for sustainable development and a new paradigm of global cooperation. In R. Papa and A. Saiti (eds), Building for a sustainable future in our schools: Brick by brick. Switzerland: Springer.
Townsend, T. (2012). School leadership in the twenty-first century: Different approaches to common problems? School Leadership and Management, 31(2), 93–103.