Strategic Dynamics: A Collaborative Route to Program Development
Janice M. Hirota2004
Practitioners and funders working in a range of institutional arenas frequently look to collaboration as a strategy for achieving effective service delivery, or creating systemic reform, or both. But the actual practice of collaboration is often more difficult and demanding than expected – and sometimes more rewarding. Through a case study of the Altman Early Literacy Collective, the paper examines the dynamics of developing, practicing, and refining a collaborative effort to create a new program – implemented in early childhood centers and Head Start programs – that builds on but differs from other programs of each of the collaborative members. Collaboration provided the means for the partners to explore, nurture, and practice – in ways that none could have done on their own – their belief in the value of linking art and literacy as two essential and complementary pathways into gaining new knowledge, developing communication skills, and fostering emotional engagement in the process of learning.