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



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
 
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
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

 
 
References
 
Index

"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
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

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword

Preface


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