"Hord is the originator of the triple-headed concept of professional learning communities. Sommers is an experienced administrator and past president of the National Staff Development Council. With the authors′ extensive backgrounds in educational evaluation and the implementation of school change and development, they are uniquely equipped to delineate and defend a particular vision of professional learning communities that has educational depth, professional richness, and moral integrity."
—From the Foreword by Andy Hargreaves
"The most important volume available to help principals undertake the challenging yet exhilarating work of building true communities of professional learning."
—Joseph Murphy, Professor
"The book does not gloss over the challenges that leaders will encounter. The authors draw upon rich research evidence and personal experiences and offer many practical, proven change strategies. This is a valuable resource for any educational leader who wishes to become a ′head learner.′"
—Arthur L. Costa, Professor Emeritus
California State University, Sacramento
"Hord and Sommers create a powerful bridge between the research base on PLCs and practitioner knowledge and action. The book′s dual focus on principles and ′rocks in the road′ provide a grounded basis for school leaders. A dog-eared copy should be in every principal′s office and in every professional developer′s tool kit."
—Karen Seashore Louis, Rodney S. Wallace Professor
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
"The authors′ rationale and suggestions will resonate because they come from experience and great insight. The bottom line remains steadfast for these two distinguished educators: you implement a PLC so that teachers learn and students achieve. This text will help educators reach toward that compelling vision."
—Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director
National Staff Development Council
Imagine all professionals in all schools engaged in continuous professional learning!
Current research shows a strong positive relationship between successful professional learning communities and increased student achievement. In this practical and reader-friendly guide, education experts Shirley M. Hord and William A. Sommers explore the school-based learning opportunities offered to school professionals and the principal′s critical role in the development of an effective professional learning community (PLC).
This book provides school leaders with readily accessible information to guide them in developing a PLC that supports teachers and students. The authors cover building a vision for a PLC, implementing structures, creating policies and procedures, and developing the leadership skills required for initiating and sustaining a learning community.
Each chapter includes meaningful quotes from the field, "rocks in the road" and ways to overcome them, examples from real PLCs, and learning activities to reinforce chapter content. The text illustrates how this research-based school improvement model can help educators:
Discover how you can grow a vital community of professionals who work together to increase their effectiveness and strengthen the relationship between professional learning and student learning.
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