Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth and Dilemmas

Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth and Dilemmas

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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 Foundationfor 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

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 152 x 230 x 14mm | 371.95g
  • Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • English
  • ed
  • 0335220304
  • 9780335220304
  • 324,636

Table of contents

Series' editors' preface
List of contributors
List of figures and tablesProfessional learning communities: Elaborating new approaches

Part 1Divergence
The involvement of support staff in professional learning communities
Extending the learning community: a broader perspective embedded in policy
From professional learning community to networked learning community
Beyond borders: can international networks deepen professional learning community?

Part 2Depth
`Normalizing' problems of practice: converting routine conversation into a resource for learning in professional communities
How leaders use artifacts to structure professional community in schools
Developing collective understanding over time: reflections on building professional community
Using assessment tools as frames for dialogue to create and sustain professional learning communities
Transforming practice from within: the power of the professional learning community

Part 3Dilemmas
Building professional learning communities in high schools: challenges and promising practices
Building social capital in professional learning communities: importance, challenges and a way forward
Sustainable professional learning communities

Part 4Afterword
Professional learning communities: a reflection
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About Louise Stoll

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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