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The Collective Wisdom of Practice

The Collective Wisdom of Practice
Leading Our Professional Learning From Success

A Joint Publication with Learning Forward, Forewords by Ellie Drago-Severson and Stephanie Hirsh

November 2019 | 184 pages | Corwin
Leverage Professional Wisdom with Asset-Based Professional Learning 

Many professional learning designs are built on the assumption that we learn best by studying our failures. However, learning from failure often evokes responses of denial, avoidance and the same defensive dynamics that contributed to the failure in the first place. Schechter’s resource, presents the Collective Learning-from-Success approach. This fresh, new, assets-based framework will shift educators’ minds from focusing in isolation on failure to continuously deliberating together, sharing past experiences and best practices, and solving problems related to teaching and learning. Whether you serve as a teacher, school or district leader, or a policy maker, your professional growth will benefit by reflecting on actionable knowledge through collective inquiry. 

This book offers educators an opportunity to come together in forming a productive alternative to the learning from failure paradigm. The Collective Wisdom of Practice provides a model for how to learn from successes by providing
An assets-based approach to designing and implementing professional learning
Strategies to focus on learning from educators’ past successes
Multinational case studies, sample learning materials, templates, and tools
A framework that can be applied to multiple levels, such as grade and subject areas, building level, system level, and
 policy level

Grounded in more than 20 years of extensive research in the US and internationally, this approach will have a powerful influence on professional learning. Learn to nurture your wisdom of practice to meet the challenge of preparing students to be co-creators of society. 

List of Tables and Figures
Foreword by Ellile Drago-Severson
Foreword by Stephanie Hirsh
About the Author
Chapter 1. Shifting Schools Toward Collaborative Learning Communities
Chapter 2. How to Learn Collectively: Gleaning Wisdom From Professionals’ Problems and Successes
Chapter 3. Juggling Our Mindsets: Educators’ Perceptions of Collective Learning From Success
Chapter 4. The Learning-From-Success Journey: Enacting Wisdom
Chapter 5. The National Program for Learning From Success in Schools
Chapter 6. Switching Gears: Learning From Success and Learning From Problems as a Catalyst to Growth and Change
Conclusion. Let’s Start Our Journey: Enacting Educators’ Successful Wisdom of Practice

"Schechter provides a refreshing lens for examining and learning from past events by showing what is made possible when teams focus on success rather than harp on failure.  If you’re looking to improve the school improvement process, this thought-provoking text just might be the impetus for shifting mindsets from a deficient to an asset-based model."

Jenni Donohoo, Co-author of "Quality Implementation: Leveraging Collective Efficacy to Make 'What Works' Actually Work"

"Roland Barth once pondered, out loud, how many children’s lives might be saved if teachers were to disclose what they know to one another.  Schechter highlights the importance of collective learning among educators, proposing a process by which teachers share their wisdom.  This wisdom is gleaned through reflection, especially through the framework of learning from success."

Megan Tschannen-Moran, Professor of Educational Leadership
College of William & Mary

"Anyone interested in school improvement will benefit from the wisdom of Chen Schechter's wise analysis in this important volume."

Sam Wineburg, Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and History
Stanford University

"If you were to read just one book on change in schools, Professional Learning Communities, or establishing a positive school culture based on teaching successes, then you need to look no further. The Collective Wisdom of Practice gives readers a comprehensive, thoughtful and believable guideline that takes Lesson Study a step further by demonstrating that the improvements of the clearly focused Learning from Success program is applicable in all schools."

Dr Neil MacNeill
Ellenbrook Independent Primary School, WA, Australia

"The Collective Wisdom of Practice is a look overdue solution for schools in this era of school negativity. As professionals, we all look at improving what we do by reflecting on what works – our successes. So, the obvious question is why doesn’t this occur at a school level. This foundation of this book and the way forward is to do just this. A detailed approach is provided that any school can implement, anywhere."

Dr. Ken Darvall
Tema International School, Ghana

The Collective Wisdom of Practice explores a Learning-from-Success model that is a powerful and transformational, and will encourage schools that move forward based on identified and proven successes.

Laura Schaffer Metcalfe, Ed.D.
Mesa Community College

"The Learning from Success model presented in The Collective Wisdom of Practice acknowledges that are many things right about our schools and that we can learn as many lessons from these bright spots as we can from the challenges we have faced.  Chen Schechter takes us step-by-step, guiding a thorough analysis of an event or situation and concludes with lessons learned in an actionable frame and language, making it possible to apply those lessons in the future. This book teaches us how to use our learning and celebrate what is true and good about our schools."

Shannon Hobbs-Beckley
Graded American School of Sao Paulo, Brazil

"PLCs are often largely focused on talk rather than action, and the denial, avoidance, and defensiveness that often inhibit the effectiveness of teacher collaboration. However, this book represents a paradigm shift from learning from our failures to learning from our successes. The Collective Wisdom of Practice is a must-read for school principals and for district administrative teams.

Melanie Mares Sainz
Lowndes County Schools, GA

"The Collective Wisdom of Practice provides the necessary information and practical guidance for any school wishing to make positive changes."

Melissa Miller
Farmington Middle School, AR

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