Collaboration in a professional learning community is defined by the authors as a systematic process in which educators work interdependently to analyze and to impact their professional practice in order to achieve better results for their students and their school as a whole. Members of a collaborative team must work in concert with each other and must rely on each other to achieve a desired goal. Team members hold each other accountable for the group's success.
Collaboration as a means of impacting student achievement is effective if the collaborative groups are focused on issues that directly affect student learning. The authors recommend that collaborative efforts on education be focused around the four concerns central to the professional learning community:
- Content for children to master
- Assessment of content mastery