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The Principal as Professional Learning Community Leader
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The Principal as Professional Learning Community Leader



December 2008 | 144 pages | Corwin

"This series allows school principals to integrate theory and practice themselves, resulting in highly insightful and practical strategies that will make a difference in schools. Practitioners: lead thyselves!"
—Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

"Avoiding high-flown theory on the one hand and mere bullet points on the other, these books represent the best that highly expert leaders have to offer—intellectually informed ideas about how to deal with the compelling practical issues of principalship."
—Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

"This series of little volumes provides a valuable resource for new principals who would become accomplished instructional leaders and seasoned principals looking to strengthen their leadership capacity."
—Roland S. Barth, Founding Director
Harvard Principals' Center

"Addresses some of the most important challenges facing school leaders today. The authors bring a remarkable combination of deep, practical experience and academic sophistication to these challenges."
—Ken Leithwood, Professor
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Create a collaborative culture for increased student achievement!

Schools with professional learning communities (PLCs) benefit from significantly improved student achievement and a greater sense of shared purpose. This resource, part of the Leading Student Achievement series, provides principals with practical support to lead the development of PLCs in their schools. With step-by-step plans and hands-on strategies, this handbook guides principals through the process of building thriving PLCs by:

  • Defining the key attributes of PLCs 
  • Explaining the principal's role in the process 
  • Laying the foundation for shared mission, vision, values, and goals 
  • Showing how to create a steering team, introduce the concept to staff, and develop teacher learning teams

Featuring professional development modules, case studies, and reproducibles that can be adapted to any school context, The Principal as Professional Learning Community Leader is an invaluable companion for school leaders at any level.


 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
1. Building Professional Learning Communities
Why Professional Learning Communities?

 
The PLC Edifice: An Analogy

 
Feature: Reflection and Action Template

 
Summary

 
 
2. The Role of Principals in Leading Professional Learning Communities
Leadership Practices of the PLC Principal

 
Principal/Vice Principal Learning Teams

 
Feature: Reflection and Action Template

 
Summary

 
 
3. Planning for Professional Learning Communities
Collaborative Leadership: Creating the PLC Steering Team

 
PLC Snapshot Assessment

 
Setting Up a Tracking System

 
Feature: Recording and Planning for Continuous Learning: PLC Learning Grid

 
Summary

 
 
4. Introducing Staff to Professional Learning Communities: Foundations
Laying the Foundations of a PLC

 
Feature: Professional Development Modules: Introducing Staff to PLCs

 
Guiding Questions

 
Feature: Recording and Planning for Continuous Learning: PLC Learning Grid

 
Summary

 
 
5. Supporting Learning Teams: The Pillars
Learning Teams for Improving Student Achievement

 
The Four Pillars

 
Feature: Professional Development Module: PLC Learning Teams

 
Guiding Questions

 
Feature: Recording and Planning for Continuous Learning: PLC Learning Grid

 
Summary

 
 
6. The Roof: Continuous Learning and Continuous Improvement
Reflection and Action

 
Celebration

 
Guiding Questions

 
Feature: Recording and Planning for Continuous Learning: PLC Learning Grid

 
Summary

 
 
The Principal's Tool Kit
Professional Development Modules

 
Case Studies

 
Reproducibles

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

“This series of publications addresses some of the most important improvement challenges facing school leaders today. The authors of the series bring a remarkable combination of deep, practical experience and academic sophistication to these challenges. The series should be required reading for all school leaders.”

Ken Leithwood, Professor
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

“At last, a series of outstanding books by practicing administrators, for practicing principals. Avoiding high-flown theory on the one hand and mere lists of bullet points on the other, these books represent the best that highly expert leaders have to offer—intellectually informed ideas about how to deal with the compelling practical issues of principalship. Getting down from the ivory tower and stepping out of the principal’s office, these authors offer some of the most important and useful books about leadership that principals can buy.”

Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

“This series of little volumes offers a plethora of rich ideas ranging from practice and specific methods right down to easy-to-use worksheets. It provides a valuable resource for new principals who would become accomplished instructional leaders and also for seasoned principals looking to strengthen their leadership capacity.”

Roland S. Barth, Former Teacher and Principal
Founding Director, Harvard Principals’ Center

“This is a great series that allows school principals to integrate theory and practice themselves, resulting in highly insightful and practical strategies that will make a difference in schools. Practitioners: lead thyselves!”

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Key features
  • Provides numerous tools for use in developing PLCs, including diagnostic, planning, tracking and portfolio tools.
  • Offers several professional development modules that school leaders can use with staff to introduce learning teams, and to create mission, vision and goal statements.
  • A Principal Resources section at the end of the book contains cases, templates, and reproducibles to use with staff in creating PLCs.

For instructors

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