This resource for leaders of professional learning communities examines the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to work effectively with teachers, parents, administrators, students, and their school community members at large.
Schools as Professional Learning Communities, Second Edition, a one-stop sourcebook for building a learning community, presents research-based activities and strategies that offer ongoing support for teachers. All activities are appropriate for use with study groups or school leadership teams as they seek to build their learning communities. Leaders will be able to offer teachers meaningful opportunities to meet, discuss, and work together to build and strengthen their understandings about teaching and learning and improve learning experiences for all students.
In this new edition, the authors have added:
- A Making it Work! activities section within each chapter to help teachers reexamine their educational beliefs and assumptions that guide their behaviour
- The School Improvement Framework for Learning Community Schools - a discussion of new strategies for classroom observation
- New information on e-portfolios, coaching, the importance of emotional intelligence, and the impact of No Child Left Behind
Sylvia M. Roberts heads programs in educational administration and supervision at the City College of New York, teaching graduate coursework in educational administration and supervision. Roberts has also taught in middle school and served as consultant and facilitator in numerous school districts. Eunice Z. Pruitt is currently an educational consultant and director of professional development for Corn Associates, helping schools align their curriculum and assessment practices with state core curriculum standards. As well as teaching and serving as principal in elementary schools, Pruitt has also taught graduate courses at the City University of New York in leadership, educational planning, and systems problem solving.
Foreword by Susan Sullivan Preface About the Authors 1. The Professional Learning Community: An Overview Preview of the Chapter What is a learning community? What are the characteristics of a learning community? What is the role of the learning community in an age of accountability? What are the key elements of the school improvement framework for learning community schools? How is student achievement affected by the learning community model? How are teachers affected by the learning community? How do refelection and reflective practice contribute to the building of learning communities? Conclusion Making It Work Activities 2. Learning Through Shared Leadership What are the roles of educational leaders in a learning community? What steps must a principal take to develop a shared mission and vision? What strategies can educational leaders use to communicate and sustain the vision? What about emotional intelligence and leadership? How do principals build the trust that contributes to improved student achievement? What communication skills do leaders need to successfully lead learning communities? What do leaders need to know about the change process? How do you begin the process of building a learning community? Conclusion Making It Work Activities 3. Learning Through Ongoing Professional Development What are the guiding principles for professional development in learning communities? What strategies meet the needs of adults as learners? How can we find enough time for professional development? How do we assess the effectiveness of professional development? How do we get started with professional development? Conclusion Making It Work Activities 4. Learning Through Teamwork How can we overcome barriers to effective teamwork? What behaviors promote effective teamwork? What are the stages of group development? How may conflict among team members be effectively managed? What are effective ways for teams to make decisions? How should meetings be conducted to promote team development in learning communities? Conclusion Making It Work Activities 5. Learning Through Study Groups What is a study group? What are the purposes and benefits of study groups for a community of learners? How do you initiate a study group? How can teacher book study groups be planned and conducted? Conclusion Making it Work 6. Learning Through Classroom Observation What is the purpose of classroom observation? How does the standards-based walk-through for teachers contribute to a culture of collaborative instruction? How does conferencing with teachers set the stage for the calssroom observation process? How does clinical supervision improve learning and foster collaboration? What about the observation of the differentiated classroom? Conclusion Making it Work Activities 7. Learning Through Collaborative Approaches How may issues of equity and diversity be addressed in a collaborative learning community? What is the role of collaboration in the learning community? How do mentoring and coaching enhance the learning community? How does collaborative assessment of student work build learning communities? How may we collaborate with parents in the learning community? Conclusion Making It Work Activities 8. Learning Through Professional Portfolios What is the role of professional portfolios in the learning community? What goes into a professional portfolio? How do you get started developing the portfolio? How should the portfolio be organized? What about electronic portfolios? How may the portfolio be evaluated? What strategies support the development and use of portfolios in the learning community? Conclusion Making it Work Activities 9. Sustaining the Professional Learning Community How do we sustain a culture that supports a collaborative approach to improving instructional practice and student outcomes? How do we sustain the structures that support learning community schools? What must we do to maintain the focus on continuous student learning that characterizes learning communities? How do we maintain a focus on the school's mission and shared vision statements that stress student achievement? What steps must be taken to ensure that shared leadership is sustained in learning community schools? Conclusion Making It Work Activities References Index