ERIC Number: ED476852
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Learning from Data: The Role of Professional Learning Communities.
Mason, Sarah A.
This paper explores the role of professional learning communities in facilitating effective use of data by school administrators and teachers. The paper draws on three related research studies conducted in the Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin. Grounded in systemic reform theory, the studies had a common goal to build the capacity of school staff to use data more effectively for continuous improvement and decision making to improve student learning. Knowledge management theory helps define what is meant by "effective use of data" in a systemic reform context, provides a useful framework for determining what it means to learn from data, and illustrates the successful use of data in school and classroom settings. This paper sheds light on what school staffs need to learn from data, the organizational barriers to learning from data, and how professional learning communities can contribute to improving the organizational culture and structure necessary for effective data use. Examples from recent research studies are used to illustrate why professional learning communities provide an ideal organizational structure to address both the challenges schools face and the needs of teachers as school staffs seek to learn from data and use it effectively to improve student learning. (Contains 34 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
IES Cited: ED506645