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Guiding Professional Learning Communities

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

Foreword by Roland S. Barth

May 2012 | 240 pages | Corwin
This research-based sequel to Leading Professional Learning Communities focuses on the practical process of implementing, improving, and sustaining PLCs. Appropriate for groups at all stages of PLC development, this field book helps educators improve PLC operations by facilitating individual and group development and growth. The authors provide learning opportunities that generate conversations about adult learning and contribute to supportive conditions that strengthen teacher quality and raise student outcomes.
Foreword by Roland S. Barth
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

“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

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Shirley Moos Hord

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... More About Author

James Lloyd Roussin

James L. Roussin, M.A.L.S., has been committed to improving teaching and learning in schools across the US and abroad throughout his professional career. He has worked as a Language Arts Teacher, Gifted Coordinator, ESL Coordinator, Curriculum Director, Executive Director of Teaching, Learning & School Improvement, Adjunct Professor, and Educational Consultant. Jim is currently working as a Strategic Change Consultant and is the Executive Director for Generative Learning. Website: Jim helped to revitalize the Minnesota Staff Development Council from 1998 – 2004 and served as its President for four of... More About Author

William Arthur Sommers

William A. Sommers, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas, continues to be a learner, teacher, principal, author, leadership coach, and consultant. Bill has come out of retirement five times to put theory into practice. He was on the Board of Trustees for five years and President for the National Staff Development Council now called Learning Forward. ... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412972710