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ERIC Number: EJ827553
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Slicing the Layers of Learning: Professional Learning Communities Fill the Gaps as Educators Put New Knowledge into Practice
Curry, Meredith; Killion, Joellen
Journal of Staff Development, v30 n1 p56, 58-60, 62 Win 2009
In this article, the authors argue that district and school leaders continue to struggle with the apparent dichotomy between "traditional" and "reform-oriented professional development," especially with increased presence of professional learning communities in schools and their use in replacing other forms of professional development. Traditional professional development, most practitioners agree, is an expedient way to build the fundamental knowledge and skills associated with innovations in curriculum and instruction. Reform-oriented professional development, however, increases implementation and transformation of practice, researchers are finding. Implementation in classrooms is what impacts student learning. The authors propose that practitioners can negotiate the dichotomy between traditional and reform-oriented professional learning through the use of the macro-learning and micro-learning continuum. Macro learning experiences are those that occur at the broad level. They involve explicit occurrences of cognitive learning; staff engages in these experiences to acquire knowledge and skills. Macro learning deepens content and pedagogical knowledge and skill but does not guarantee that learning is transferred to practice. Teachers engage in micro learning as they apply their new knowledge and skills gained through macro learning, thus transferring learning to practice. The authors conclude that the artful weaving of macro and micro learning produces the greatest benefits for students. As school staffs continue to refine the implementation of professional learning communities, it is essential that they step back to determine if their practice incorporates sufficient macro and micro learning to produce the changes they intend--for both adults and students.
National Staff Development Council. 504 South Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-523-6029; Fax: 513-523-0638; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A