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PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES

ATTRIBUTE 2: COLLECTIVE CREATIVITY

The idea of a learning organization where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together has been a relatively new paradigm, one introduced by Peter Senge in the early 90s. As Senge's paradigm shift was explored by educators and shared in educational journals, the label became learning communities.6

In the education setting, the learning community is demonstrated by people from multiple constituencies, at all levels, collaboratively and continually working together (Louis & Kruse, 1995). Such collaborative work is grounded in reflective dialogue, in which staff conduct conversations about students and teaching and learning, identifying related issues and problems.

Participants engaged in such conversations learn to apply new ideas and information to problem solving and therefore are able to create new conditions for students. Key tools in this process are shared values and vision; supportive physical, temporal, and social conditions; and a shared personal practice.