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Country Dale as a Professional Community of Learners. Who Are We? Why Are We Here?. Who are we?. What makes Country Dale unique as a school? What do we care about? What is our moral purpose?

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who are we
Who are we?
  • What makesCountry Daleunique as a school?
  • What do we care about? What is our moral purpose?
  • How does each member [all stakeholders] play an integral part in the vision of the school…the vision of the district?
think pair share
  • What do we care about?
    • Jot down a few ideas without discussing it with a partner
    • Now, discuss your thoughts with a partner
    • Were your thoughts similar? Different?
    • If they were similar, why? If they weren’t similar, why not?
    • Have we “published in the world” why we’re here and what we care about?

“Most school reform efforts have created overload and fragmentation, thereby resulting in a lack of coherence and meaning, which continues to divert us from issues of greatest importance – teaching and learning.”---Michael Fullan, 2000


Collective Learning and Application

  • The staff share information and work collaboratively to plan, solve problems, and improve learning opportunities.

Views of an Organization (Senge, 1990)1) Unfocused – Not Aligned2) Focused – Not Aligned3) Focused - Aligned

plc it s everywhere but what is it

PLC – It’s everywhere, but what is it?

“… where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and diverse patterns of thinking are valued, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.” --Senge, 1990

“…a powerful staff development approach and a potent strategy for school change and improvement.” --S. Hord

Some say professionallearning communities are the promise for school reform? If so, how do we move from concept to capability?
dimensions of a plc hord 1997
Dimensions of a PLC(Hord, 1997)
  • Shared Values and Vision
  • Shared and Supportive Leadership
  • Collective Learning and Application
  • Shared Personal Practice
  • Supportive Conditions
    • Relationships
    • Structures

Shared Values and Vision

  • The staff share visions that have an undeviating focus on student learning, and support norms of behavior that guide decisions about teaching and learning.
shared vision
Shared Vision

The organization becomes a living entity, of which each member of the collective body is a guardian, engaged in bringing about the group’s purpose. Building shared understanding of a grand [shared] vision is a continuous process of endless dialogue.---Charlotte Roberts

shared values deeply held views of what we find worthwhile
Shared Values…deeply held views of what we find worthwhile
  • Espoused Values

…values we profess to believe in

  • Values-in-Action

…values that actually guide our behavior

…our “lived” or “modeled” values


Shared and Supportive Leadership

  • Administrators share power, authority, and decision-making, while promoting and nurturing leadership.
shared leadership
“School Leadership needs

to be a broad concept that

is separated from person,

role, and a discrete set of

individual behaviors…

Such a broadening of the

concept of leadership

suggests shared responsibility

for a shared purpose of

community.” --Lambert, 1998

Parallel Leadership assumes equivalence of teacher and administrator leadership in school improvement processes to enhance school capacity.

Grounded in the values of:

Mutual trust

Shared directionality

Individual expression

--Andrews & Crowther, 2002

Shared Leadership

“Ultimately, your leadership in a culture of change will be judged as effective or ineffective not by who you are as a leader but by what leadership you produce in others.”--Fullan, 2003, Leading in a Culture of Change, p. 137


Shared Personal Practice

  • Peers meet and observe one another to provide feedback on instructional practices, to assist in student learning, and to increase human capacity.
supportive conditions
Supportive Conditions
  • Structures
    • Communication systems
    • Resources
    • Facilities
  • Relationships
    • Caring relationships
    • Trust and respect
    • Recognition and celebration
    • Risk-taking

…. the glue that holds all other dimensions together – the springboard

for creating and sustaining PLCs...reculturing


“Signs of health in community rest not in how interconnected and bonded the group feels, but how flexibly and responsively it moves from its existing reality toward the one it desires.”-- Gozdz, 2000

what would it look like if
What would it look like if…
  • Our school culture reflected people at all levels learning together, as a united team, to promote and increase student learning?
  • ……..?

What would we keep, stop, start?


“I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again…Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well… Human conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change.”--- Margaret Wheatley, 2002, p. 3Turning To One Another: Simple Conversations Restore Hope to the Future

initial planning for 2011 12
Initial Planning for 2011-12
  • To build ownership, commitment, and accountability as a PLC, how do we
    • develop leadership capacity?
    • align efforts to our vision, values and goals?
    • engage staff in focused and meaningful learning?
    • share personal practice?
    • establishing supportive conditions?
      • structures that support the culture of a PLC
      • relationships of trust and respect
    • engage the entire school community?

“My premise is that this culture, and we as members of it, have yielded too easily to what is doable and practical…In the process we have sacrificed the pursuit of what is in our hearts. We find ourselves giving in to our doubts, and settling for what we know how to do, or can learn to do, instead of pursuing what matters most to us and living with the adventure and anxiety that this requires.” --Peter Block, 2002, The Answer to How is Yes


An organization has core values if there is evidence of them everywhere:They permeate the institutionThey drive the decisionsThey elicit strong reactions when violatedThey’re the very last thing you’ll give up.-- Saphier & D’Auria