ERIC Number: EJ831111
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 22
Building Capacity for Professional Learning Communities through a Systems Approach: A Toolbox for Superintendents
Wells, Caryn; Keane, William G.
AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, v4 n4 p24-32 Win 2008
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are places where teachers work with intentionality to improve their own craft for the benefit of students. Teachers and administrators study collaboratively and analyze student learning results to improve academic achievement for all students. Administrators working to implement PLCs seek to expand leadership roles for teachers. They protect time needed for the deep reflection about learning results and their causes. They encourage and expect that teachers begin to collaborate by sharing and studying best educational practice. Superintendents are the conductors of the district orchestra, inspiring movement and alignment of all the forces within the school system. A systems approach is essential in the guidance of a school system. Where and how does this journey begin? What are the insights and wisdom from systems thinking that can assist superintendents in implementing PLCs in their districts? Senge's landmark book, "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization" (2004), has some advice that can be applied to the challenges of creating PLCs. Senge places a high value on understanding the history or the patterns that happen in organizations; he calls these the "laws" of systems thinking. This article explores the relationship of these insights to the successful development of PLCs.
Descriptors: Systems Approach, Educational Practices, Educational Change, Superintendents, Leadership, Teaching Methods, Academic Achievement, Administrators, School Districts, Evaluation, Teachers, Teacher Collaboration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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