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Journals as Frameworks for Professional Learning Communities

Second Edition
By: Mary E. Dietz

Increase the power of professional learning communities through the use of structured journaling.

This resource illustrates how to focus and inform the collaborative efforts of professional learning communities (PLCs) with structured journals that follow a four-step process of purpose, focus, process, and outcome. Covering five types of journals, the author demonstrates how every PLC participant can facilitate efforts to benefit the school community, boost student achievement, and extend professional learning. The book offers readers:

  • Step-by-step instructions for using structured journals
  • Case studies drawn from actual experiences
  • Sections for reflection and conversation
  • Journal templates on a CD-ROM

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412959902
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2008
  • Page Count: 160
  • Publication date: March 04, 2008

Price: $87.95

Price: $87.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.


"We successfully used the first edition and are especially excited about this revision, with updated journal designs and a CD-ROM. Now we have digital access and can easily share files and archive our efforts."
—Aminda Gentile, Director
UFT Teacher Centers

Increase the power of professional learning communities through the use of structured journaling.

Educators working together in learning communities share a common objective: to develop broader and deeper understandings about the work that they do. As professionals, these participants look for opportunities to reflect on research and consider new practices that will impact student learning

In Journals as Frameworks for Professional Learning Communities, international consultant Mary E. Dietz demonstrates five types of structured journals expressly tailored to the scope and purpose of professional learning communities (PLCs). Each of the journals in this groundbreaking guide follows a clearly defined four-step process—purpose, focus, process, and outcome—and provides a framework that promotes collaboration, continuous learning, and improved student achievement.

The standard PLC Journal supports a collaborative effort focused on facilitating school reform. The School Portfolio Journal aids those convened to study individual schools and their benefits. The Action Research Journal builds teachers' skills as researchers, and the Professional Performance Portfolio supports the development of highly qualified teachers. Finally, the PLC Instructional Planning Journal helps participants align professional development with instructional priorities. With each journal type, the author includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for using structured journals
  • Illustrations of the four-step journaling process
  • Case studies drawn from actual experiences with educators and school communities
  • Opportunities for PLC participants to consider new practices that can boost student learning
  • A section devoted to reflection and conversation

This comprehensive resource provides teachers, administrators, and other PLC members with powerful support for change and growth. The book and accompanying CD-ROM include helpful hints and strategies, a learning communities readiness rubric, implementation tools, and blank journal templates.

Key features

  • Types of journals consist of: Professional Learning Communities (PLC's) at Work, School Reform, Action Research, Schoolwide Portfolios, The Highly Qualified Teacher, and Professional Development and Instructional Priorities
  • Chapters begin by providing background on each journal, then train the reader how to use each journal to facilitate the coaching and learner-centered process
  • A case study in each chapter illustrates the four-step journaling process: purpose, focus, process, and outcome
  • Chapters conclude with a section for reflection and conversation, a list of questions for group discussion, and blank journal templates
  • Provides helpful hints and strategies for implementation
  • A resource section offers additional templates, implementation tools, strategies, guidelines, a glossary of key terms, and suggested further readings on professional development
  • Includes a CD-ROM of templates and resources for professional learning


Mary E. Dietz photo

Mary E. Dietz

Mary Dietz is an international consultant specializing in assisting educators in building capacity to establish and facilitate learning communities. She is also co-founder of LearnCity, an educational technology firm offering a web-based solution for designing, implementing, and assessing standards-based instruction, K-12. Her work is focused on coaching educational systems through the design and implementation of school reform efforts. Much of her work with educators has been in the areas of continuous improvement, professional development, coaching, and alternative performance assessments for educators. She established the Portfolio Network for the National Staff Development Council (NSDC), dedicated to promoting the portfolio process for professional learning. She has coached teachers, administrators, school boards, and communities in establishing the relationships necessary for systemic change. Most recently she served as designer and facilitator of an online Knowledge Management System for managing standards-based instruction in California.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Author


The Purpose of PLC Journals

How to Use This Book and CD

Guiding Principles for Continuous Professional Learning

The Learning Cycle of Professional Development

Learning Communities Readiness Rubric

1. Professional Learning Communities at Work

Building Learning Communities in Schools

The Importance of Conversation and Building Relationships

Essential Qualities and Roles of Learning Community Members

Facilitating Learning Communities

2. Professional Learning Community Journal: Facilitating School Reform

Background of Professional Learning Communities

How to Use the PLC School Reform Journal to Inform Planning

Case Study: PLC School Reform Journal

School Reform Wrap-up

3. Action Research Journal: Teacher as Researcher

Background of Action Research

How to Use the Action Research Journal

Case Study: Action Research Journal

Action Research Wrap-up

4. District Portfolio of Schools: Constructing a School Portfolio

Background of the School Portfolio

How to Use the School Portfolio Journal

Case Study: School Portfolio Journal

School Portfolio Wrap-up

5. Professional Performance Journal: The Highly Qualified Teacher

Background of Professional Growth and Performance

How to Use the Professional Performance Journal

Case Study: Professional Performance Journal

Professional Performance Wrap-up

6. Professional Development Journal: Aligning With Instructional Priorities

Background of Professional Development

How to Use the Professional Development Journal

Case Study: Professional Development Journal

Professional Development Wrap-up

Guides and Resources for Professional Learning Communities

PLC Resource Matrix

Systems Planning Model

Organizers for the System Planning Model

A Guide for Active Listening

Guide for Professional Collaboration

Thoughtful Questions for Learning Communities

Worksheet for Defining Purpose and Priorities

School Portfolio Survey

A Strategy for Determining Priorities for School Change

Student Profile Checklist

Professional Portfolios: Types and Purposes

A Guide for Listening

Directions for Coaching Triads

Banner Questions Guide

Professional Development Checklist

A List of Facilitation Strategies

Journal Templates






Price: $87.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.