Steps 4-7

Conversations about big ideas
Conversations about big ideas
Image: Singing Bowl Media
Source: Museum Victoria

Step 4: Once the cluster has been established, convene the first meeting to plan the dates and nature of the interschool gatherings.

For example: The meeting needs to involve the teacher coordinators from each of the cluster schools. Cluster coordinators fine-tune the proposal and decide upon the students who will be targeted to participate, expectations for student participation, dates and venues for gatherings, topics to be considered and appropriate catering for gatherings.

Step 5: Negotiate with stakeholders at the school level to confirm dates and venues of interschool gatherings.

For example: Negotiate with Heads of Faculty, administration staff and Daily Organiser/Timetabler regarding dates of gatherings. A cluster may organize the gatherings to rotate at the cluster schools.

Step 6: Conduct your interschool gatherings.

For example: Choose a theme that students can focus on and provide material for discussion preparation. Newspaper articles and political cartoons are excellent for stimulating discussion as are lyrics of songs, quotations and artwork. Any material that provokes thought and feeling about an issue and that can contribute to the exploration of ideas may be used in this context.

Step 7: Communicate regularly and honestly about the progress of the project.

For example: Begin by formatting a list of the Cluster contacts. This will be added to during the course of the project. It will include both email, telephone and address details. Agree upon the regularity of communication and mode of contact. Email is the most efficient method, but sometimes telephone contact, including teleconferences is more effective for particular purposes including organizing events. Decide about the formality of Cluster Coordinator meetings and the responsibility of agenda setting and minute taking. Build a ‘review’ item into the agenda of each meeting to reflect on the progress of the collaboration.