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Professional Learning Communities by Design

Professional Learning Communities by Design
Putting the Learning Back Into PLCs

Foreword by Shirley Hord

July 2011 | 304 pages | Corwin

How to form a vibrant PLC that truly makes a difference for students

If you are looking for an organic approach to purpose-driven professional learning, this is the book for you. Award-winning educator Lois Brown Easton's latest work provides a compelling case study in narrative form, a chronological PLC planning outline, and first-hand "lessons learned" about how PLCs develop, mature, and sustain themselves. You will not receive a PLC "prescription," but you will find inspiration, wisdom, discussion questions, and a companion CD with:

  • Professional learning designs for varied PLC contexts
  • Helpful forms, templates, and rubrics
  • Protocols for collecting, analyzing, and applying data

The text emphasizes that the central word in PLCs is learning. This focus on intentional learning lights the path for educators who wish to narrow achievement gaps and help all students succeed.

Foreword by Shirley Hord
About the Author
1. Setting the Stage for PLCs (June and July)
2. Finding Initial Structures (August)
3. Pursuing the Need to Know; Making Sense of Data (August - October)
4. Finding Processes for Working Together (November - December)
5. Appreciating New Data; Discovering Divergence (January - March)
6. Grappling with Change; Pursuing Protocols (March and April)
7. Expanding Context; Focusing on the Future (May and June)
8. Exploring Leadership and Taking Action (June and August)
9. Looking Ahead; Facing Challenges (June and August)

"Professional Learning Communities by Design is very user-friendly and clearly identifies the rationale, implementation, and ongoing processes for PLCs. The relevancy and practical guidelines will be appreciated by all practitioners. The link to Learning Forward is very evident and practitioners will appreciate the connections made."

Terri Patterson, Executive Director of Elementary Education and Professional Development
Waco Independent School District, TX

"This book provides the practitioner with a step-by-step guide for establishing and benefitting from professional learning communities. The author has provided an extensive literature review and an excellent array of tools that can equip initial PLCs with an advanced starting point towards enhancing student learning."

R. Daniel Cunningham Jr., Executive Director
EXCELerator Solutions, Bala Cynwyd, PA

"This book thoughtfully outlines a long-term journey toward developing true Professional Learning Communities. The refreshing approach personalizes the PLC process, and the charts and other information it provides are gold mines."

Claudia J. Thompson, Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Development
Peninsula School District, Gig Harbor, WA

"This book outlines an excellent PLC model over a year, including how a school can begin and develop an implementation process for an effective and productive PLC that engages most of the faculty. The process involves input from students, parents, and community. The book includes many useful tools, handouts, and examples on the essential components, considerations, and pitfalls to anticipate during the PLC process."


Nancy Kellogg, Education Consultant
Boulder, CO

"The book approaches a topic that many people believe they already understand in a way that will correct misconceptions and build understanding smoothly. Demonstrating the building process chronologically and providing supporting protocols throughout links practical application with tools that can be utilized immediately."

Linda C. Diaz, Director of Title I and Professional Development
Monroe County School District, Key West, FL

Great book, however it did not suit the purposes of my class.

Dr Beth Crawford
Learning and Leadership, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
July 15, 2013
Key features

(1) Guides the implementation of PLCs by incorporating a range of professional learning designs, protocols, and tools for use in an array of PLC contexts. 

(2) Focuses on narrowing achievement gaps and promoting success for struggling learners. .

(3) Running case study provides readers with a "you are there" model of the work of PLCs over time.

Sample Materials & Chapters



For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412987110