SEDL School Improvement Work Highlighted in New Book

November 24, 2003
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

November 24, 2003ÑAustin, TexasÑSouthwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) work in developing professional learning communities is the basis of a new book, Learning Together, Leading Together, published jointly by Teachers College Press and the National Staff Development Council.

Written by SEDL staff and partners in SEDLÕs Creating Communities of Continuous Inquiry and Improvement project, Learning Together, Leading Together offers practical advice gathered from 22 elementary, middle, and high schools that have successfully modeled or are developing professional learning communities to improve student achievement. SEDL scholar emerita Shirley Hord, Ph.D., who has many years of experience studying and facilitating school change processes, is editor of the book. Hord saw a need to share the stories of the 22 schools. She explains, ÒWhile the professional learning community structure and means of working collaboratively holds much promise for school or district continuous improvement, there appears little explicit literature that might help educators to work in this way. The telling of these stories, focused on creating professional learning communities, contributes information and insights to fill the gap, and to the potential for real change and reform in our schools.Ó

Learning Together, Leading Together clearly defines the professional learning community (PLC); identifies the benefits of a PLC to staff and students; outlines strategies required to launch, develop, and sustain a community of professional learners to foster student achievement; and examines the roles and perspectives of teachers, principals, and superintendents in developing a PLCCopies of Learning Together, Leading Together may be purchased from Teachers College Press at or the National Staff Development Council at Cost is $23.95 for a paperback edition and $50 for a cloth edition.

About SEDL

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit