ERIC Number: EJ977438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Hewitt, Kimberly Kappler; Weckstein, Daniel K.
School Administrator, v69 n1 p28-32 Jan 2012
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome in creating and sustaining an administrative professional learning community (PLC) is time. Administrators are constantly deluged by the tyranny of the urgent. It is a Herculean task to carve out time for PLCs, but it is imperative to do so. In this article, the authors describe how an administrative PLC has created this "sacred time" for administrators' joint problem solving in the Oakwood City School District in Dayton, Ohio. One element of the PLC is the "critical friends" protocol. During these sessions, one of the members brings a problem to the group in the form of a question for the purpose of assistive reflection and collaborative problem solving. This process helps to build trust and interdependence among the administrative team. The "critical friends" sessions have focused on every manner of topics, including personnel challenges, how to roll out a new initiative and how to manage transitions. The professional learning community has also helped the team to maintain momentum and continuity during a time of turnover in the administrative ranks. During the last four years, 50 percent of their administrative team has changed as some have left for retirement, moved to a new location or received a promotion to a superintendency elsewhere. Nonetheless, the PLC itself and the processes they use have remained stable, allowing members to maintain their focus as a district.
Descriptors: Urban Schools, Problem Solving, Communities of Practice, Brainstorming, Discussion Groups, Professional Development, Management Development, Expectation, Program Descriptions, Educational Administration, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Training
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio