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Common ground is not enough: The situated and dynamic process of collaboration in a multiagency teacher professional development project

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Abstract

This paper uses Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to examine the boundary zone of teacher professional development within a multi-agency collaborative project. It highlights different goals, histories, and commitments that collided and intermingled to create tensions, contradictions, and opportunities for expansive learning. Although a policy mandate, use of the English Language Arts-Common Core State Standards created a common goal, however, interagency participants acted under strikingly different conceptions of effective teacher professional development. In an era of increased collaboration among agencies, this paper reconceptualizes interagency teacher professional development, serving as both a cautionary tale and a vision for the future.

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