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PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES

ATTRIBUTE 5: SHARED PERSONAL PRACTICE

True professional learning community requires openness – opened classroom doors, open lesson plan books, open conversation. Review of a teacher's behavior by colleagues is the norm in the professional learning community (Louis & Kruse, 1995). This practice is not evaluative but is part of the "peers helping peers" process. Such review is conducted regularly by teachers, who visit each other's classrooms to observe, script notes, and discuss their observations with the visited peer. The process is based on the desire for individual and community improvement and is enabled by the mutual respect and trustworthiness of staff members. Mutual respect and understanding are the fundamental requirements for a workplace culture that will support effective learning community. Such culture results in teachers finding help, support, and trust as a result of developing warm relationships with each other.11


REFERENCES

  1. Rosenholtz, S. (1989). Teacher's workplace: The social organization of schools. New York: Longman.
  2. McLaughlin, M.W. & Talbert, J.E. (1993). Contexts that matter for teaching and learning. Stanford, California: Center for Research on the Context of Secondary School Teaching, Stanford University.
  3. Darling-Hammond, L. (1996, March). The quiet revolution: Rethinking teacher development. Educational Leadership, 53(6), 4-10.
  4. Carmichael, L. (1982, October). Leaders as learners: A possible dream. Educational Leadership, 40(1), 58-59.
  5. Kleine-Kracht, P.A. (1993, July). The principal in a community of learning. Journal of School Leadership, 3(4), 391-399.
  6. Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Currency Doubleday.
  7. Fawcett, G. (1996, Winter). Moving another big desk. Journal of Staff Development, 17(1), 34-36.
  8. Louis, K.S. & Kruse, S.D. (1995). Professionalism and community: Perspectives on reforming urban schools. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Boyd, V. (1992). School context. Bridge or barrier to change? Austin, Texas: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
  11. Louis & Kruse.