SEDL Monthly: An e-bulletin of SEDL / January 2012 /

New at SEDL
Join Our Effectiveness Study
Has your district recently adopted Common Core State Standards? Join our effectiveness study; participating schools will receive free reading or math curricula materials and support that are aligned to common core standards.
Find out how your school can participate.

Enroll your school or district in the study

Have You Used Paso Partners?
We’d like to hear from teachers who have used Paso Partners. This popular resource for educators aims to boost math and science achievement among Spanish-speaking students in kindergarten through third grade. We are in the process of updating and expanding the program to include lessons for fourth- and fifth-grade students and to align the curricula with Texas standards. If you have used Paso Partners and would like to tell our Communications staff about your experience, please e-mail Joni Wackwitz.

Visit SEDL's library of free resources on the SEDL Web site.

From Isolation to Collaborative Learning: Professional Learning Communities in Action

SEDL Staff Write New Book on Professional Learning Communities
Reclaiming Our Teaching Profession: The Power of Educators Learning in Community,Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) provide a structure and strategy for improving classroom and school effectiveness, and subsequently, student performance.  A new book, Reclaiming Our Teaching Profession: The Power of Educators Learning in Community, expands on the role of PLCs as a component of school improvement efforts to examine how they can raise the professional stature of educators. Written by SEDL scholar emerita Shirley Hord and project director Edward Tobia, Reclaiming Our Teaching Profession explains how teachers’ continuous learning and improvement in both subject matter and instruction advance the practice of teaching as a profession.

Hord and Tobia describe PLCs where teachers plan and implement research- and standards-based instruction, look for evidence of student learning, reflect on instructional practices, and apply in the classroom what they have learned from their colleagues. They also show how PLCs can foster an atmosphere of trust and support, where teachers reflect, discuss, hold one another accountable, and engage in ongoing professional learning. 

The authors provide the following information and resources about PLCs:

  • Clear steps and real-school examples with a focus on collaborative adult learning for student gains, community respect, professional satisfaction, and collegial support
  • An examination of pitfalls and distractions
  • Clear images of what empowered PLCs look like for teachers, administrators, and leaders at the school and district levels
  • Practical tools for advancing and measuring progress

To learn more or order the book, visit the Teachers College Press Web site.

Tips and Tools
Free Resources
How PLCs Can Transform a District
From 2009 to 2011, SEDL assisted South Carolina's Lancaster County School District in establishing, implementing, and sustaining a school improvement process that included PLCs. SEDL’s Research and Evaluation staff conducted an evaluation of the extent to which the Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle was changing teaching and learning in the district. This report summarizes recent evaluation findings regarding the achievement of expected outcomes associated with the process.

Read the evaluation.

Creating a Professional Learning Community
Establishing and sustaining a strong professional learning community is no easy task. SEDL’s Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle (PTLC) provides a framework for PLCs through a six-step process: study, select, plan, implement, analyze, and adjust. To support this process, leaders in turn focus on three strategies: communicating clear expectations, building capacity, and monitoring and reviewing. For an overview of the PTLC, see the article “Creating a Community of Professional Learners: An Inside View” in the November 2009 issue of SEDL Letter.

Read more.


The Professional Learning Communities Assessment-Revised

The Professional Learning Communities Assessment-Revised
The Professional Learning Communities Assessment-Revised (PLCA-R) is a questionnaire that assesses educators’ perceptions about principal, staff, and stakeholders based on the dimensions of a professional learning community and related attributes. The questionnaire contains a number of statements about practices that occur in some schools. PLCA-R participants read a series of statements and then use a scale to indicate the degree to which they agree with each statement.


Copyright 2012 by SEDL.

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Questions or comments should be directed to:
Laura Shankland
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Phone: 512-391-6556
Fax: 512-476-2286

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