Building and Connecting Learning Communities: The Power of Networks for School Improvement

Building and Connecting Learning Communities: The Power of Networks for School Improvement

By: Lorna M. Earl (editor), Sonia Ben Jaafar (editor), Steven Katz (editor)Hardback

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Ideal for school leaders, teacher leaders, and superintendents leading district-level change, this book describes how separate professional learning communities can be purposefully linked across schools to create effective Networked Learning Communities (NLCs). Steven Katz, Lorna M. Earl, and Sonia Ben Jaafar demonstrate how NLCs can effectively engage schools in creating and sharing professional knowledge and develop the kind of deep and sustained changes that enhance student learning, engagement, and success.Based on the authorsAe research and work with districts and schools in North America and England, the book defines NLCs, explains how they work, and leads readers in examining:The importance of having a clear, evidence-based focusCollaborative inquiry as a process that challenges thinking and practice and generates new learning for teachersThe role of formal and informal leaders in both professional learning communities and networked learning communitiesBuilding and Connecting Learning Communities demonstrates how to work together to create the conditions for focused professional learning for teachers and tackles the challenge of how to sustain the work of NLCs.

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About Author

Steven Katz is a director with the research and evaluation firm Aporia Consulting Ltd. and a permanent faculty member in Human Development and Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. He is an associate member of the School of Graduate Studies and is the coordinator of the Psychology of Learning and Development initial teacher education program component. Katz has a doctorate in human development and applied psychology, with a specialization in applied cognitive science. His areas of expertise include cognition and learning, teacher education, networked learning communities, and the design of data-driven systems for organizational accountability, planning, and improvement. He has received the Governor General's medal for excellence in his field, and has been involved in research and evaluation, professional development, and consulting with a host of educational organizations around the world. Lorna M. Earl is a director of Aporia Consulting Ltd. and a retired associate professor from the Department of Theory and Policy Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. She was the first director of assessment for the Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office, and she as been a researcher and research director in school districts for over 20 years. Throughout her career, Earl has concentrated her efforts on policy and program evaluations as a vehicle to enhance learning for pupils and for organizations. She has done extensive work in the areas of literacy and the middle years, but has concentrated her efforts on issues related to evaluation of large-scale reform and assessment (large-scale and classroom) in many venues around the world. She has worked extensively in schools and school boards, and has been involved in consultation, research, and staff development with teachers' organizations, ministries of education, school districts, and charitable foundations. Earl holds a doctorate in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as degrees in education and psychology. Sonia Ben Jaafar is a research associate at Aporia Consulting Ltd. She works internationally to support policy and program development and implementation through applied research and evaluation. Her areas of expertise include assessment, accountability, educational reform, policy and program development, and comparative studies. Ben Jaafar graduated from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto with a PhD in theory and policy studies. She also holds an MA in curriculum, teaching, and learning; a BEd specialized in science education; and a BSc in biochemistry.


Preface Acknowledgments About the Authors 1. Why Networks? Why Now? It's About Learning Networks: A Powerful Organizational Tool Time for Reflection 2. How Networked Learning Communities Work What Are Networked Learning Communities? How NLCs Work: The Theory of Action Using NLCs to Focus Local PLCs The Anatomy of a NLC: A Refined Theory of Action Time for Reflection 3. Establishing a Clear and Defensible Focus Focus Foremost Evidence-Based Focus From a School Focus to a Network Focus Time for Reflection 4. Collaborative Inquiry to Challenge Thinking and Practice The Importance of Relationships From Inquiry to an Inquiry Habit of Mind From Relationships to Deep Collaboration Getting to Powerful Collaborative Inquiry Time for Reflection 5. Leadership in Networked Professional Learning Communities Roles of Formal Leaders Roles of Informal Leaders Time for Reflection 6. From Student Learning to Teacher Learning Towards Focused Collaborative Inquiry Collaborative Inquiry for Teacher Leaders Within-School Focused Professional Learning: Collaborative Inquiry for Teachers Time for Reflection 7. Using the Network to Support Professional Learning for Leaders Collaborative Inquiry and Focused Learning for Leaders Using Critical Friends to Promote Inquiry and Focus Efforts From Collaborative Inquiry to Instructional Leadership Actions Time for Reflection 8. Sustaining Networked Learning Communities Sustaining Collective Understanding Sustaining Professional Learning Sustaining and Broadening Leadership Sustaining Powerful Networked Learning Communities Time for Reflection References Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 02/11/2009
  • ISBN13: 9781412966009
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 136
  • ID: 9781412966009
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 1412966000

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