ERIC Number: ED370214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
School-Wide Professional Community.
Newmann, Fred M.
Issues in Restructuring Schools, n6 Spr 1994
This document focuses on the challenge of building professional community within schools. The introductory article provides a definition of and rationale for "community within schools." The second article discusses some of the benefits that schools enjoy when they develop strong professional communities, and what conditions and resources make the development of those communities possible. The article examines teacher surveys from 15 restructuring schools to identify factors that affect the development of professional community--5 critical elements of teacher interaction, 5 structural conditions, and 5 social/human resources. Findings suggest that human resources--such as openness to improvement, trust and respect, knowledge and skills, supportive leadership, and socialization--are more critical to the development of professional community than are structural conditions. The third article provides profiles of one elementary, one middle, and one high school that have strong professional communities. Data were derived from observations, surveys, and interviews. Southern Elementary School, which implemented an Accelerated Schools model, was characterized by school-based decision-making, staff-led innovations, and reflection and inquiry. Northwest Middle School established a "choice system" for students and teachers; however, teachers had divergent ideas about curriculum and instruction. Western High School utilized heterogeneous student grouping and multicultural education, formal mechanisms to encourage collaboration, and shared decision-making. Some teachers, however, identified time constraints and the rigid format of committee meetings as drawbacks. (LMI)
Descriptors: Collegiality, Educational Cooperation, Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Development, Participative Decision Making, Professional Development, Teacher Improvement
Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, University of Wisconsin, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Suite 659, Madison, WI 53706.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.