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Guiding Professional Learning Communities
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Guiding Professional Learning Communities
Inspiration, Challenge, Surprise, and Meaning



November 2009 | 240 pages | Corwin

"To improve teaching quality and student learning outcomes, someone has to take the reins and lead the effort with intelligence, skill, sensitivity, and a clear sense of purpose. This book offers the 'why' and 'how' to those willing to take on the challenge to accomplish that goal."
—Thomas R. Guskey, Professor of Educational Psychology
University of Kentucky

"This book places 'learning in community' at the forefront of PLC work. The authors provide a treasure trove of cognitively engaging learning opportunities that build a communal knowledge base."
—Diane Zimmerman, Superintendent
Old Adobe Union School District, Petaluma, CA

"Too often PLCs are treated as events. The authors of this fine book make clear that an authentic PLC is about embracing a form of leadership and learning in schools that requires fearless examination of teaching practices, faculty interactions, and student learning toward the goal of increased successful student learning. The book is rich with information, resources, and learning activities revealing how this can be accomplished."
—Robert J. Garmston, Cofounder, Institute for Intelligent Behavior
Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento

The how-to guide for developing, implementing, and sustaining a PLC!

Shirley M. Hord and William A. Sommers' best-selling book Leading Professional Learning Communities introduced educators to the research-based components of an effective professional learning community (PLC). Now this implementation handbook offers more than 30 structured "learning opportunities" to help busy educators put the components into practice.

Ideal as a companion to the original book but also valuable as a standalone resource, this sequel guides educators in developing a new PLC or sustaining an existing one. Members of PLCs can use the engaging learning opportunities to facilitate individual and team development by exploring:

  • Beliefs, values, and vision
  • Shared leadership
  • Structural conditions
  • Relational conditions
  • Intentional learning
  • Sharing personal practice

Guiding Professional Learning Communities is a rich field guide for increasing and enhancing teaching quality through the power of educators learning together.


 
Foreword by Roland S. Barth
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Part I. Introduction: Things You Need to Know Before You Use This Book
 
Part II. Words to the Wise: Before You Begin
 
Part III. Learning Opportunities: Tools, Tasks, Deep Thinking, and a Wee Bit of Trivia
 
Learning Opportunity 0.1: A Crisp Rationale for PLCs
Learning Opportunity 0.2: Benefits to Staff and to Students: A Flamingo Dialogue

 
Learning Opportunity 0.3: Research-Based Components of a PLC: A Jigsaw

 
 
Component 1: Shared Beliefs, Values, and Vision
Overview and Current Thinking

 
Learning Opportunity 1.1: My Personal Learning Compass

 
Learning Opportunity 1.2: Creating a Culture of Academic Optimism

 
Learning Opportunity 1.3: Prioritized Abandonment

 
Learning Opportunity 1.4: Discovering Our Core Values

 
 
Component 2: Shared and Supportive Leadership
Overview and Current Thinking

 
Learning Opportunity 2.1: Friendly Feedback for the Principal

 
Learning Opportunity 2.2: A Guide for Making Decisions

 
Learning Opportunity 2.3: Learning Conversations

 
Learning Opportunity 2.4: Planting the PLC in a Strong Culture

 
Learning Opportunity 2.5: Positive Deviance

 
Learning Opportunity 2.6: Distributed Leadership

 
 
Component 3: Structural Conditions
Overview and Current Thinking

 
Learning Opportunity 3.1: Time and Other Essential Ingredients

 
Learning Opportunity 3.2: Assessing the Effectiveness of PLC Meetings

 
Learning Opportunity 3.3: Assessment for PLC Development

 
Learning Opportunity 3.4: The Learning Community’s WORK

 
Learning Opportunity 3.5: Identifying a PLC Learning Goal

 
Learning Opportunity 3.6: Traffic Light Indicator

 
 
Component 4: Relational Conditions
Overview and Current Thinking

 
Learning Opportunity 4.1: The Importance of Trust in the PLC

 
Learning Opportunity 4.2: Group Development

 
Learning Opportunity 4.3: Mapping Collaborative Interactions

 
Learning Opportunity 4.4: Relational Conditions

 
Learning Opportunity 4.5: Building Consensus

 
Learning Opportunity 4.6: Defusing Conflict in a PLC

 
 
Component 5: Intentional Collective Learning and Its Application
Overview and Current Thinking

 
Learning Opportunity 5.1: Leadership and the Enemies of Learning

 
Learning Opportunity 5.2: Twelve Principles for Effective Adult Learning

 
Learning Opportunity 5.3: The PLC Action Plan

 
Learning Opportunity 5.4: Listening Together in the PLC

 
Learning Opportunity 5.5: Using the Stages of Concern to Connect Professional Learning to the Classroom

 
Learning Opportunity 5.6: Using the Levels of Use (LoU) to Connect Professional Learning to the Classroom

 
Learning Opportunity 5.7: PLC Growth Development Profile

 
 
Component 6: Sharing Personal Practice
Overview and Current Thinking

 
Learning Opportunity 6.1: “Foursight” for Learning: Four Focus Areas to Consider in Monitoring for Student Learning

 
Learning Opportunity 6.2: Four Conversations

 
Learning Opportunity 6.3: Coaching: Transferring Adult Learning to the Classroom or What’s Learned Here Leaves Here

 
Learning Opportunity 6.4: Reflection Protocols

 
Learning Opportunity 6.5: Video Sharing Protocol

 
 
Part IV. Bringing Closure
 
Resource A
 
References
 
Index

“Although research on the effectiveness of professional learning communities (PLCs) can best described as ‘mixed,’ one thing is clear: they accomplish nothing without strong, knowledgeable, and courageous leadership. To improve teaching quality and student learning outcomes, someone has to take the reins and lead the effort with intelligence, skill, sensitivity, and a clear sense of purpose. This book offers the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ to those willing to take on the challenge.”

Thomas R. Guskey, Professor of Educational Psychology
University of Kentucky

"One weekend morning, I sat down with my cup of coffee to read a book, and much to my delight, two hours later, I had not read a book, but rather mapped out a learning plan for an entire year. The best gift of all, everything I will need is right here in this book. When you sit down to read this book, make sure you have a calendar at your side. Get ready to go on a shopping spree of ideas; like all good shoppers choose wisely, for there is no way you can possibly use all of the ideas in this book in one year. I assure you, you will not have buyer’s remorse!"

Diane Zimmerman, Superintendent
Old Adobe Union School District, Petaluma, CA

“Too often PLCs are treated as events. The authors of this fine book make clear that an authentic PLC is neither an event nor a name. It is about embracing a form of leadership and learning in schools that requires fearless examination of teaching practices, faculty interactions, and student learning toward the goal of increased successful student learning. The book is so rich with information, resources, and learning activities revealing how this can be accomplished that it could serve as syllabus for a graduate course in school improvement.”

Robert J. Garmston, Cofounder, Institute for Intelligent Behavior
Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento

Comprehensive and met the goals of the course.

Dr Amy Burkman
School Of Education, University of Texas - Permian Basin
September 8, 2011
Key features
  • Well respected authorship
  • Backed by solid research
  • Provides a "how-to" focus for implementation, improvement, and sustainability of professional learning communities (PLCs)
  • Presents original "Learning Opportunies"activities designed to teach leaders and participants of PLCs the content, strategies, techniques, and approaches for improving the operation of their PLC
  • Designed as a "field book' to complement the previous, more descriptive volume by Shirley M. Hord and William A. Sommers

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword

Chapter 1


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For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412972710
$34.95