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ERIC Number: EJ849815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1052-8938
Teachers Talking Together: The Power of Professional Community
Nathan, Linda
Horace, v24 n1 Spr 2008
Schools that encourage teachers to do excellent work, as Boston Arts Academy (BAA) does, are "professional learning communities." A professional learning community exists when the entire faculty and staff, including the administration, work together towards a shared set of standards and assessments that are known to everyone, including the students. Such a school is a learning environment not only for the students, but for all the adults, who never feel that they have "got it right," that no more learning as an educator is necessary. Standards and assessments are continually retooled as teachers and students become more proficient. A school that is also a professional learning community recognizes that work with students and adults is on-going and embodies the values of continual growth, risk-taking and trust. Certainly, teachers have opportunities to learn content, but the ways and conditions that teachers learn both individually and together, share their practices, and even disagree are the characteristics that constitute a vibrant learning community. In this article, the author describes the development of the professional learning community at BAA. She contends that friendships and emotional connections arising among teachers are important, but they do not substitute for necessary professional support and growth. Teachers must have structured time to share, write, and talk about their teaching and their students. Otherwise, teaching is a solitary activity, all too often leading to unsatisfactory results for both teachers and students. A school with a healthy professional learning community will maintain a razor-sharp focus on student achievement; its faculty will feel a common ownership and responsibility for that achievement; and its students will achieve success.
Coalition of Essential Schools. 1330 Broadway Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 510-433-1451; Fax: 510-433-1455; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts