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

Foreword by Joellen Killion



© 2008 | 208 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with National Staff Development Council

"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.

 
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
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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