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The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Professional Development

Coaching Inquiry-Oriented Learning Communities
By: Nancy Fichtman Dana, Diane Yendol-Hoppey

Foreword by Joellen Killion

Combining professional learning communities and action research, this step-by-step guide provides coaches, workshop leaders, and staff developers with strategies, activities, and tools to develop inquiry-oriented PLCs.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412955805
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2008
  • Page Count: 208
  • Publication date: May 01, 2008

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
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"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

"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

"A terrific resource for connecting teacher networks and action research to create powerful professional development opportunities. This book is a joy to read."
—Ellen Meyers, Senior Vice President
Teachers Network

Powerful tools for facilitating teachers' professional development and optimizing school improvement efforts!

Professional learning communities (PLCs) and action research are popular and proven frameworks for professional development. While both can greatly improve teaching and learning, few resources have combined the two practices into one coherent approach.

The Reflective Educator's Guide to Professional Development provides educators with strategies, activities, and tools to develop inquiry-oriented PLCs. Nationally known school reform experts Nancy Fichtman Dana and Diane Yendol-Hoppey cover the ten essential elements of a healthy PLC, provide case studies of actual inquiry-based PLCs, and present lessons learned to help good coaches become great coaches. With this step-by-step guide, readers will be able to:

  • Organize, assess, and maintain high-functioning, inquiry-oriented PLCs
  • Facilitate the development of study questions
  • Establish the trust and collective commitment necessary for successful action research
  • Enable PLC members to develop, analyze, and share research results
  • Lead successful renewal and reform efforts

By combining two powerful training practices, coaches, workshop leaders, and staff developers can ensure continuous, robust school-based professional development.

Key features

  • Facilitates action research projects for professional learning communities
  • Shows coaches how to establish and maintain a PLC, and how to help the PLC members develop, carry out, analyze, and share the results of their research
  • Features 10 essential elements for a healthy PLC, and 12 "lessons learned" to guide coaches in their work
  • Includes research review; sample inquiry projects; case studies, reflection prompts; definitions of terms; and resources


Nancy Fichtman Dana photo

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, Slovenia, and Estonia. She has published ten books and over 100 articles in professional journals and edited books focused on her research exploring teacher and principal professional development and practitioner inquiry. Dana has received many honors, including the Association of Teacher Educator’s Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award and the National Staff Development Council (now Learning Forward) Book of the Year Award, both honoring Dana and Yendol-Hoppey’s work related to practitioner inquiry.

Diane Yendol-Hoppey photo

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 Pennsylvania and Maryland. She holds a PhD in curriculum and instruction from The Pennsylvania State University. Diane’s current work explores national and international research focusing on teacher education clinical practice, job-embedded professional learning, and teacher leadership. Diane received the AERA Division K Early Career Research Award for her ongoing commitment to researching innovative approaches to professional development. She has published six books and over 60 articles in professional journals.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

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





Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.