Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth and Dilemmas / Edition 1

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“All who are interested and concerned about educational reform and the improvement of schools will find this book a must read. It stimulates, it challenges, and it informs, such that the reader is most surely enriched by its plenitude.”

Dr Shirley Hord, Scholar Emerita

“At last we have a book of international cases to add to the literature on networks! Policymakers and practitioners alike will find the reasons why networks are fast becoming the reform organizations of choice. The book elevates network understanding to a new level.”

Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation

for the Advancement of Teaching

  • What is a professional learning community?
  • What are the key challenges facing these communities and how might they be resolved?
  • Is it time to extend our thinking about professional learning communities?

There is great interest internationally in the potential of professional learning communities for enhancing educational reform efforts and sustaining improvement. This international collection expands perceptions and understanding of professional learning communities, as well as highlighting frequently neglected complexities and challenges.

Drawing on research, each chapter offers a deeper understanding of topics such as distributed leadership, dialogue, organisational memory, trust, self-assessment and inquiry, and purpose linked to learning. The last section of the book focuses upon three of the most challenging dilemmas that face developing professional learning communities - developing professional learning communities in secondary school, building social capital, and sustaining professional learning communities. The authors provide pointers on why these challenges exist, offering rays of hope for ways forward.

Professional Learning Communities is key international reading for education professionals, school practitioners, policymakers, academics and research students. It is a must-read for anyone interested in building capacity for sustainable learning and the ability to harness your community as a resource for change.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335220304
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise Stoll is Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement and Visiting Professor at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning, Institute of Education, University of London and University of Bath. She was a co-director of the Effective Professional Learning Communities (EPLC) Project. Her current research, development work and writing focuses on capacity building and professional learning communities within and between schools nationally and internationally.

Karen Seashore Louis is Director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement and Professor of Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. Her primary research interests focus on school improvement and school reform, especially improvement in K-12 leadership and policy over the last 30 years, particularly in urban secondary schools. She is the author of many books, including Professionalism and Community: Perspective on Reforming Urban Schools, with Sharon Kruse and Associates.

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Table of Contents

List of figures and tables     ix
List of contributors     xi
Series editors' preface     xvii
Acknowledgements     xxi
Professional learning communities: elaborating new approaches   Louise Stoll   Karen Seashore Louis     1
Divergence     15
The involvement of support staff in professional learning communities   Ray Bolam   Louise Stoll   Angela Greenwood     17
Extending the learning community: a broader perspective embedded in policy   Coral Mitchell   Larry Sackney     30
From professional learning community to networked learning community   David Jackson   Julie Temperley     45
Beyond borders: can international networks deepen professional learning community?   Louise Stoll   Jan Robertson   Lynn Butler-Kisber   Sylvia Sklar   Tom Whittingham     63
Depth     77
'Normalizing' problems of practice: converting routine conversation into a resource for learning in professional communities   Judith W. Little   Ilana S. Horn     79
How leaders use artifacts to structure professional community in schools   Richard Halverson     93
Developing collective understanding over time:reflections on building professional community   Sharon D. Kruse   Karen Seashore Louis     106
Using assessment tools as frames for dialogue to create and sustain professional learning communities   Kristine Kiefer Hipp   Jane Bumpers Huffman     119
Transforming practice from within: the power of the professional learning community   Dorothy Andrews   Marian Lewis     132
Dilemmas     149
Building professional learning communities in high schools: challenges and promising practices   Milbrey W. McLaughlin   Joan E. Talbert     151
Building social capital in professional learning communities: importance, challenges and a way forward   Bill Mulford     166
Sustainable professional learning communities   Andy Hargreaves     181
Afterword     197
Professional learning communities: a reflection   Ann Lieberman     199
Index     205
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