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Leading Professional Learning Communities: Voices From Research and Practice / Edition 1

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Overview

Imagine all professionals in all schools engaged in continuous professional learning!

Education experts Shirley M. Hord and William A. Sommers explore the school-based learning opportunities offered to school professionals and the principal's critical role in the creation, development, and support of an effective professional learning community (PLC). This book provides school leaders with readily accessible information to guide them in initiating and developing a PLC that supports teachers and students. Using field-tested examples, the text illustrates how this research-based school improvement model can help educators:

  • Increase leadership capacity
  • Embed professional development into daily work
  • Create a positive school culture
  • Develop accountability
  • Boost student achievement

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Editorial Reviews

Joseph Murphy
"The most important volume available to help principals undertake the challenging yet exhilarating work of building true communities of professional learning."
Arthur L. Costa
"It takes leadership for a school to become a community of professional learners, and that’s what this book is about. Steeped in years of study and immersed in the realities of school life, the book does not gloss over the challenges that leaders will encounter as they embark on this journey. The authors draw upon rich research evidence and personal experiences, sprinklehumorous vignettes throughout, and offer many practical and proven change strategies.This is avaluable resource for any educational leader who wishes to become a 'head learner.'"
Andy Hargreaves
"Hord is the originator of the triple-headed concept ofprofessional learning communities. Sommers is an experienced administrator and past president of the National Staff Development Council. With their extensive backgrounds in educational evaluation andthe implementation of school change and development, they are uniquely equipped to delineate and defend a particular vision of professional learning communities that has educational depth, professional richness, and moral integrity. "
Stephanie Hirsh
"Readers will immediately sense from the authors a deep respect for educators combined with an understanding of the challenges that schools face today. Hord and Sommers's rationale and suggestions will resonate because they come from experience and great insight. The bottom line remains steadfast for these two distinguished educators: you implement a PLC so that teachers learn and students achieve. This text will help educators reach toward that compelling vision."
Karen Seashore Louis
"A well-developed research base supports the importance of professional learning communities, but until this book, how-to publications have been short on empirical evidence. Hord and Sommers create a powerful bridge between knowledge and action that reflects their deep experience as scholar-practitioners committed to improving school culture. The book’s dual focus on principles and 'rocks in the road' provide a grounded basis for school leaders. A dog-eared copy should be in every principal’s office and in every professional developer’s tool kit."
The Bookwatch
"An excellent guide highly recommended for working professional educators."
From the Foreword by Andy Hargreaves
"Hord is the originator of the triple-headed concept ofprofessional learning communities. Sommers is an experienced administrator and past president of the National Staff Development Council. With their extensive backgrounds in educational evaluation andthe implementation of school change and development, they are uniquely equipped to delineate and defend a particular vision of professional learning communities that has educational depth, professional richness, and moral integrity."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412944779
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 599,865
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Shirley M. Hord, PhD, is the scholar laureate of Learning Forward (previously National Staff Development Council), following her retirement as Scholar Emerita at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin, Texas. There she directed the Strategies for Increasing Student Success Program. She continues to design and coordinate professional development activities related to educational change and improvement, school leadership, and the creation of professional learning communities.

Her early roles as elementary school classroom teacher and university science education faculty at The University of Texas at Austin were followed by her appointment as co-director of Research on the Improvement Process at the Research and Development Center for Teacher Education at The University of Texas at Austin. There she administered and conducted research on school improvement and the role of school leaders in school change.

She served as a fellow of the National Center for Effective Schools Research and Development and was U.S. representative to the Foundation for the International School Improvement Project, an international effort that develops research, training, and policy initiatives to support local school improvement practices.

In addition to working with educators at all levels across the U.S. and Canada, Hord makes presentations and consults in Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Mexico.

Her current interests focus on the creation and functioning of educational organizations as learning communities and the role of leaders who serve such organizations. Dr. Hord is the author of numerous articles and books, of which a selection of the most recent are: Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles, and Potholes, 3rd ed (with Gene E. Hall, 2011); Reclaiming Our Teaching Profession: The Power of Educators Learning in Community (with Edward F. Tobia, 2012); A Playbook for Professional Learning: Putting the Standards Into Action (with Stephanie Hirsh, 2012).

William A. Sommers is currently the Learning Alternatives director and leadership coach for Spring Lake Park District 12 in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, consultant, and author. He is the former director of leadership & organizational development for Manor ISD in Texas, the former executive director for secondary curriculum and professional learning for Minneapolis Public Schools, and a school administrator for over 30 years. He has also been a Senior Fellow for the Urban Leadership Academy at the University of Minnesota. Sommers also has served as an adjunct faculty member at Texas State University, Hamline University, University of St. Thomas, St. Mary's University, Union Institute, and Capella University.

Sommers was on the Board of Trustees for five years and past-president for the National Staff Development Council. He has been a presenter in preconferences and conference sessions for 12 consecutive years and continues to work as a senior consultant for NSDC.

Since 1990, he has been an associate trainer for the Center for Cognitive Coaching based in Denver, Colorado. He has been a program director for an adolescent chemical dependency treatment center and on the board of a halfway house for 20 years.

Sommers has co-authored seven books, Living on a Tightrope: A Survival Handbook for Principals, Becoming a Successful Principal: How to Ride the Wave of Change Without Drowning, Reflective Practice to Improve Schools, a Trainer’s Companion, Energizing Staff Development Using Video Clips, Leading Professional Learning Communities, and Principal’s Field Manual. He is currently workingon Trainer’s Companion for Habits of Mind (2009).

In addition to writing many articles regarding coaching, assessment, and reflective thinking, he also does training in reflective practice, leadership, organizational development, conflict management, poverty, thinking skills, brain research, and classroom management. From 1970 to the present, he has been in K-12 education as a teacher and principal in urban, suburban, and rural schools. Sommers is a practitioner who integrates theory into the learning opportunities he facilitates.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Andy Hargreaves
Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
1. What Is a PLC? Professional Learning Communities: Definitions and Effects
2. Why Leadership? Leadership Imperatives for Professional Learning Communities
3. Culture and Context, Structures and Schedules, Policies and Procedures
4. Creating Conditions to Get Started
5. What Are the Skills Needed to Build Professional Learning Communities?
6. Where Are We? Where Should We Be? Who Is Monitoring Our Work?
7. What Have We Learned?
References
Index
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