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The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Professional Development

The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Professional Development
Coaching Inquiry-Oriented Learning Communities

Foreword by Joellen Killion

May 2008 | 208 pages | Corwin
Powerful tools for facilitating teachersÆ professional development and optimizing school improvement efforts! This step-by-step guide presents specific strategies for coaches who work with professional learning communities (PLCs) that practice action research, better known as 'inquiry-oriented PLCs.' This resource illustrates how incorporating action research can significantly influence professional development practices and provides coaches with lessons learned from facilitators of inquiry-oriented PLCs. This research-based book also offers: The 10 essential elements for a healthy PLCSample inquiry projects and case studies of actual inquiry-based PLCs12 lessons to help good coaches become great coachesReflection prompts in each chapter for study groups
List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
1. Facilitating the Professional Development of Others: The Role of Action Research and Professional Learning Communities
What Constitutes Powerful Professional Development?

What Is Action Research?

What Are Professional Learning Communities?

How Can Action Research and Professional Learning Communities Become the Dynamic Duo?

What's in a Name?: The Importance of Clarifying Language

What Might an Inquiry-Oriented Professional Learning Community Look Like?

2. Establishing and Maintaining a Healthy Inquiry-Oriented PLC
Ten Essential Elements of Healthy Inquiry-Oriented PLCs

Assessing the Health of Your PLC

Using Action Research to Advance Inquiry-Oriented PLC Work

3. Helping PLC Members Locate a Wondering
The Wondering Playground

The Wondering Litmus Test

Looking Across the Litmus Test Questions and Stories

4. Helping PLC Members Develop an Action Research Plan
Facilitating the Development of an Inquiry Brief: The Inquiry-Planning Meeting

The Inquiry Brief Litmus Test

5. Helping PLC Members Analyze Data
Data Analysis for the Action Researcher: A Review

Coaching Analysis: The Data Analysis Meeting

6. Helping PLC Members Share Their Work With Others
The Importance of Sharing: A Review

Creating a Space and Time for Sharing

Sharing PLC Inquiry Work With a Larger Audience

Four Core Components of Sharing

7. From Good to Great: Lessons Learned in Coaching an Inquiry-Oriented PLC
One Dozen Lessons for Coaching Inquiry-Oriented PLCs


"The reader gets to be a fly on the wall, listening as the coaches facilitate and problem solve with their groups. The authors are truly passionate about providing the reader with tools, protocols, and vocabulary to aid coaches in their role as facilitator of teacher professional learning communities."

Bill Osman, Supervisor of Professional Development and Mentoring
Hamilton Township Public Schools, NJ

"Offers a new perspective on professional development that any school could implement. This book gave me ideas to share with my principals on how to get teachers to be active learners in the professional development process."

Gina Segobiano, Superintendent
Harmony Emge School District #175, Belleville, IL

"The book speaks to many audiences, including instructional coaches, PLC leaders, action researchers and group leaders, and university professors working with action researchers and PLCs."

Gail Ritchie, Coleader, Teacher Researcher Network
Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

"The stories and vignettes are very poignant and represented the concepts brilliantly. This book provides a link to the next steps in PLCs and elevates the bar of expectancy."

Terry A. Crawley, Coordinator for School Planning and Professional Development
Archdiocese of Louisville, KY

"A tool box overflowing with ideas that will help every staff developer craft a school culture hospitable to adult and student learning."

Roland S. Barth, Author, Lessons Learned

"Congratulations to Nancy Fichtman Dana and Diane Yendol-Hoppey—and to all of us who are committed to helping teachers find their voice through the development of action research studies. We now have a terrific resource that provides a road map for connecting teacher networks and action research to create powerful professional development opportunities. The authors bring learning communities and teacher research to life because they put this work in the context of real schools and relate wonderful anecdotes of actual teachers. This book is a joy to read."

Ellen Meyers, Senior Vice President
Teachers Network

Sample Materials & Chapters



Nancy Fichtman Dana

Nancy Fichtman Dana is currently professor of education in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Hannibal Central Schools, New York. Since earning her PhD from Florida State University in 1991, she has been a passionate advocate for teacher inquiry and has worked >extensively in supporting schools, districts and universities in implementing powerful programs of job-embedded professional development through inquiry across the United States and in several countries, including China, South Korea, Belgium, Portugal, The Netherlands,... More About Author

Diane Yendol-Hoppey

Diane Yendol-Hoppey is a professor of education and dean in the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida. Prior to her appointment at the University of North Florida, she served as the associate dean of educator preparation and partnerships at the University of South Florida, director of the Benedum Collaborative at West Virginia University and taught for many years at the University of Florida where she was the evaluator of numerous district, state, and national professional development efforts. Before beginning her work in higher education, Diane spent 13 years as an elementary school teacher in... More About Author

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