|A goal of the
Harrison County School District is to become an effective Professional
Learning Community. Administrators and teachers were introduced to this
concept by attending a conference in Bloomington, Indiana, conducted by
Rebecca Dufour. They then read
Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities
by Robert Eaker, Richard DuFour and Rebecca DuFour and attended "Building
a Cathedral: Laying the Foundation of a Professional Learning Community"
conducted by Dr. Eric Twadell. All of these learning opportunities have
given Harrison County administrators and teachers a good foundation to the
beginnings of creating a Professional Learning Community. Administrators
and teachers will continue to receive training and information and to
participate in various Professional Learning Community challenges as our
district grows into a community.
What is a
Professional Learning Community?
A Professional Learning Community exists when a
group of people commit themselves to continual learning and to support
others in continual learning. A learning community stimulates ongoing,
collective inquiry into teaching and learning. It involves everyone in
highly visible learning experiences. Participants learn from each other,
with each other and for each other. They share the knowledge that is
gained, the excitement and challenges that come with learning difficult
materials and the benefits their learning produces.
A strong learning community provides
teachers and administrators with the kinds of learning experiences they want
to provide for their students. It models lifelong learning
and the production of useful knowledge, providing a sense of efficiency
and self-confidence for the teachers and administrators as they face
increasing challenges. A learning community improves professional lives
and produces higher student achievement. A learning community promotes
change and makes it an accepted part of life in the schools.
responsible for student learning in a Learning Community school?
Characteristics of Learning Community
Shared mission, vision, values, goals
Collective inquiry into “best practice” and our “current reality"
Commitment to continuous improvement
4 Pillars of a
Why does our school Exist?
What kind of school do we want our school to be?
What do we have to believe in, commit to and act
upon to make our school be that kind of school?
What do we do first to get there?
How long will it take?
What are we going to look at along the way as evidence of our success?
If we believe all kids can learn...
What is it we expect them to learn?
How will we know when they have learned it?
How will we respond when they don’t learn?