Raises provocative questions about the efficacy, viability, and sustainability of professional learning communities.
This book raises provocative questions about the efficacy, viability, and sustainability of professional learning communities given the present political and structural realities of public schools. The culmination of six years of research in five states, it explores real world efforts to establish learning communities as a strategy for professional development and school improvement. The contributors look at the realities of these communities in public schools, revealing power struggles, logistical dilemmas, cultural conflicts, and communication problems—all forces that threaten to dismantle the effectiveness of learning communities. And yet, through robust and powerful descriptions of particularly effective learning communities, the authors hold out promise that they might indeed make a difference. Anyone persuaded that learning communities are the new "magic bullet" to fix schools needs to read this book, including teacher educators, educational leaders and practitioners, professional developers, and educational leadership faculty.
Betty Lou Whitford is Professor of Education and Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Southern Maine, and the coeditor (with Ken Jones) of Accountability, Assessment, and Teacher Commitment: Lessons from Kentucky's Reform Efforts, also published by SUNY Press. Diane R. Wood is Associate Professor of Initiatives in Educational Transformation at George Mason's College of Education and Human Development, and the coauthor (with Ann Lieberman) of Inside the National Writing Project: Connecting Network Learning and Classroom Teaching.