Teachers Learning in Community

Realities and Possibilities

Edited by Betty Lou Whitford & Diane R. Wood

Subjects: Education Policy And Leadership, Education
Series: SUNY series, Restructuring and School Change
Paperback : 9781438430607, 204 pages, March 2010
Hardcover : 9781438430614, 204 pages, March 2010

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Table of contents


Betty Lou Whitford and Diane R. Wood

1. Professional Learning Communities for Collaborative Teacher Development
Betty Lou Whitford and Diane R. Wood

2. Creating Learning Communities: The Lucent Peer Collaboration Initiative
Betty Lou Whitford and Debra R. Smith

3. Learning Communities: Catalyst for Change or a New Infrastructure for the Status Quo?
Diane R. Wood

4. Learning Communities in an Era of High-Stakes Accountability
Diane Yendol-Hoppey

5. Context and Collaboration: Growing the Work in New Jersey
Debra R. Smith, Dick Corbett, and Bruce L. Wilson

6. Deepening the Work: Promise and Perils of Collaborative Inquiry
Diane R. Wood

7. What’s to Not Like about Professional Learning Communities?
Ken Jones

8.  A Look to the Future
Diane R. Wood and Betty Lou Whitford

About the Authors

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.