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This letter to the next president of the United States recommends the transformation of teacher in-service learning as a powerful means of education reform. Too often, professional development is perceived by teachers as being idiosyncratic and irrelevant. The authors recommend a reconceptualization of professional learning for practicing teachers, in which educators are involved in learning communities, these communities evolve over time, and they revolve around norms of openness, scholarly rigor, and collaborative construction of professional knowledge. The authors describe three such environments of professional learning—the National Writing Project, the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the Quest Project for Signature Pedagogies in Teacher Education—and recommend that the incoming chief executive should capitalize on the strengths of such programs and extend them to many more teachers nationwide.
Journal of Teacher Education
DOI: 10.1177/0022487108317020
2008; 59; 226 Journal of Teacher Education
Ann Lieberman and Désirée H. Pointer Mace
Teacher Learning: the Key to Educational Reform
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Ann Lieberman
Désirée H. Pointer Mace
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
This letter to the next president of the United States recommends the transformation of teacher in-
service learning as a powerful means of education reform. Too often, professional development is per-
ceived by teachers as being idiosyncratic and irrelevant. The authors recommend a reconceptualization
of professional learning for practicing teachers, in which educators are involved in learning commu-
nities, these communities evolve over time, and they revolve around norms of openness, scholarly rigor,
and collaborative construction of professional knowledge. The authors describe three such environ-
ments of professional learning—the National Writing Project, the Carnegie Academy for the
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the Quest Project for Signature Pedagogies in Teacher
Education—and recommend that the incoming chief executive should capitalize on the strengths of
such programs and extend them to many more teachers nationwide.
Keywords: teacher learning; communities of practice; professional development; online networks
Dear New President:
We want to write to you about the impor-
tance of teacher learning, showing you what
we have now, which hasn’t been working too
well, and giving you some important examples
that we believe can show the wave of the
future. This is an area of critical concern that
needs your attention and support.
Teachers are on the front lines of a changing
society. Teaching as telling is no longer appro-
priate for a knowledge society that needs
students who are prepared in problem solving,
adaptability, critical thinking, and digital litera-
cies, just to name a few. These changing stakes
are accompanied by changing demographics.
Public schools now serve increasingly diverse
student populations and schools and their
teachers are being challenged to respond.
Teachers work in isolation and only rarely have
a chance to observe their colleagues or talk
about their teaching work. Although many
agreed on the purposes of No Child Left Behind
(NCLB), its implementation has fallen short
of expectations by reducing accomplished
teachers’ opportunities to draw on the wisdom
of their experiences to serve their students.
Student learning needs improvement; teacher
knowledge seems to be one answer. But how to
get there is the crux of the problem.
One natural solution is to teach teachers
how to improve their practice. But professional
development, though well intentioned, is often
perceived by teachers as fragmented, discon-
nected, and irrelevant to the real problems of
classroom practice. Less than half of National
Board–certified teachers are satisfied with the
quality and quantity of professional learning
opportunities available at their school (Leadership
Survey; National Board for Professional Teaching
Standards, 2001). This finding is echoed by the
MetLife Survey of the American Teacher
Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 3, May/June 2008 226-234
DOI: 10.1177/0022487108317020
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Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 3, May/June 2008 227
(Metropolitan Life/Harris Interactive, 2003):
Only 42% of teachers surveyed in their study of
school leadership felt that their principals pro-
vided adequate professional development
opportunities. Most professional development
simply misses the mark.
NCLB now dominates professional develop-
ment in many schools. In a typical school, all
teachers go to professional development work-
shops where they most often learn how to follow
a script that presumably they will use in hopes of
raising their students test scores. This approach
ignores the different needs of the students, the
experience of the teacher, and the myriad possi-
bilities for engaging students in learning. In most
schools, teachers are asked to use a curriculum
package regardless of the context that has caused
demoralization in many schools, shrinking the
curriculum and taking away all the necessary
judgments of the teacher as to the appropriate-
ness of the content for their particular students.
Instead of building a culture of professional
learning, teachers are faced with a “culture of
compliance.” Instead of learning from and with
their fellow teachers as well as learning from
research, teachers are being given a script that
tightly binds them to a narrow curriculum that
may or may not fit the needs of the teachers or
their particular classrooms. Instead of creating
the conditions for teachers to teach each other,
support their peers, and deepen their knowl-
edge about their students, teachers are being
given a “one size fits all” set of professional
development workshops that deny the variabil-
ity of how teachers teach, and how they and
their students learn. But there is much that we
are learning that can help us frame this problem
differently and much that you can do as presi-
dent to enable and support a different way of
thinking about professional development.
There has been a burgeoning of both research
and experience teaching us to move in a different
direction with more long-lasting results and a
deeper understanding of the kinds of conditions
needed to improve teachers’ practice (see, e.g.,
Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993; Lieberman &
Wood, 2003; McLaughlin & Talbert 2006;
Wenger, 1998).
We are coming to understand that learning
rather than being solely individual (as we have
taken it to be) is actually also social. It happens
through experience and practice. In plain
terms—people learn from and with others in
particular ways. They learn through practice
(learning as doing), through meaning (learning
as intentional), through community (learning
as participating and being with others), and
through identity (learning as changing who we
are). Professional learning so constructed is
rooted in the human need to feel a sense of
belonging and of making a contribution to a
community where experience and knowledge
function as part of community property.
Teachers’ professional development should
be refocused on the building of learning
communities. It is this understanding, along
with some important shifts toward studying
teachers’ practice, that have helped focus
teachers’ professional development on the
building of learning communities. It is this turn
that we think should be a big part of your
approach to supporting professional develop-
ment. We believe that districts and states can
support professional learning communities by
providing teachers with continuous blocks of
time devoted to a variety of ways for teachers
to teach teachers the strategies that have been
successful with their own students, using tech-
nology to illustrate good teaching, and build-
ing networks of teacher communities where
teacher leaders can provide such professional
development with their colleagues. The National
Writing Project (NWP), which you already sup-
port, is an excellent example of what we mean
(Lieberman & Wood, 2003).
There is now a great deal of evidence that
teachers learn best when they are members of a
learning community and there is some begin-
ning knowledge their students do also (see,
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228 Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 3, May/June 2008
e.g., Grossman, Wineburg, & Woolworth, 2001;
Little, in press; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2001;
Stoll & Louis, 2007; Supovitz & Christman,
2003; Westheimer, 1998).
Looking at two different middle schools—
Brandeis and Mills—both with a reputation
of being professional learning committees,
Westheimer (1998) gathered the nuances that
help explain the subtleties in teacher commu-
nities. He described the enormous differences
in the goals, structures, processes, and beliefs
of these communities and how these differ-
ences are manifested in the character of the two
schools. The analysis of Brandeis and Mills
begins to add important details of practice to
the theories of community. For example, they
both had shared beliefs; however, Brandeis’s
teaching strategies were “individualized
dependent on teacher’s choice,” whereas
Mills’s are “collectivized, interdisciplinary, and
project based” (p. 121). These differences are
manifested in a variety of other ways as well.
At Brandeis, administrators make decisions
without input from teachers, participation in
public forums is limited, and professional and
personal commitments are often in conflict. At
Mills, teachers make decisions and set school
policy, participation is widespread and exten-
sive, and professional work is highly social and
engages people through personal and social
commitments (p. 123). These differences turn
out to be important as they demonstrate that
communities can be individual or collabora-
tive, highly autonomous or collective, and tra-
ditionally led or led by teachers. And both can
be professional communities.
McLaughlin and Talbert (2006) have been
studying school-based learning communities
for more than 15 years. Their seminal work has
taught us that school-based communities
are uniquely situated between “macro-” or
system-level directives and resources and the
“micro”realities of teachers’ classrooms. They
argued that school-based communities manage
“from the middle,” and in so doing they can
successfully negotiate the policy demands at
the top and their local situation at the bottom
(p. 4). Because these communities can be found
on grade-level teams, within departments, or
even in a whole school faculty, they can help
build a shared language and a way of working
that is consonant with their school’s local con-
text and culture. But learning communities in
schools appear to often need external resources
to support internal work; to provide different
expectations for teaching and learning; and
opportunities to practice different roles, respon-
sibilities, and relationships. It is here that you
as president can encourage and support the
creation of these “learning communities.” As
president you can support the expectation that
teachers will participate in communities at
their school, provide money for time over the
year to meet, and encourage the growth of
teacher leadership to extend and expand pro-
fessional development.
A number of reform networks, school–
university partnerships, and coalitions have
formed in the last few decades—many creating
opportunities for teachers to learn from and with
their colleagues (Lieberman, 1992; Lieberman &
Grolnick, 1996; McDonald, Mohr, Dichter, &
McDonald, 1999). But arguably, none has lasted
as long and produced so many graduates as the
NWP—and, most important, none has been able
to “scale up” the way the NWP has. To date,
there are now 200 sites.
Recently a study docu-
mented the influences of the NWP on teachers
who had been in the writing project from 1974 to
1994—the first 20 years of the NWP. The study
found that writing project experiences influ-
enced their work at all levels of the educational
system (Lemahieu, Swain, Fessehaie, & Mieles,
2007). In addition to these studies, Lieberman
and Wood (2003) documented the summer insti-
tute in an urban and a rural site. They then fol-
lowed four teachers back to their classrooms to
see if what they learned in the summer institute
ever found its way into their classrooms. They
found that all four teachers were using many of
the strategies that they learned in the summer
institute and, of importance, that there was a set
of social practices that provided the core
processes that went on during the institute.
These practices are replicated in the 200 existing
sites to date.
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Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 3, May/June 2008 229
Perhaps this gives us one of the clues as to the
importance of external networks. The NWP has
shown us not only how to engage teachers pro-
fessionally but also how to involve them in a
community that cares about them, their learn-
ing, and their continuous growth. In addition to
these practices, after the summer institute many
teachers are asked to become teacher consultants–
professional developers who facilitate learning
for others. In sum, the NWP provides some
important understandings about how to engage
and motivate teachers, how to form learning
communities, and how to develop leadership
among its participants. They have provided evi-
dence that the greater the teacher learning, the
more students learn as well. As president, you
can continue to fund such groups as the NWP as
they have already proven that they can support
not only better teaching but also increased
student learning.
Another important developmental effort that
has been documented has been that of the net-
worked communities in the United Kingdom
(Jackson, 2006; Jackson & Temperley, 2007). In
that effort, the authors describe a 5-year project
sponsored by the government in which teachers
worked in a partnership arrangement with one
or more schools forming a variety of networks
to enhance the quality of student learning. In so
doing, they changed the nature of professional
development in supporting school-to-school
learning. In each of the groups of schools, joint
work groups were formed; they planned collec-
tively, developed problem-solving teams, and
shared professional development activities.
The school networks helped to create practitioner
knowledge (from teachers’ experience), public knowl-
edge (from research and theory), and new knowl-
edge (from what was created together). During
the 5 years, not only did teacher engagement in
communities (more than 150) involve hundreds
of teachers throughout the United Kingdom, but
their students’ learning improved. In an evalua-
tion of the effort, three findings are significant.
These networks of teachers from different
schools managed to raise achievement for
students, taught the participants how to work
collaboratively linked to “rigorous and chal-
lenging joint work,” and managed to build trust
in helping make teaching public as they devel-
oped and distributed leadership among the
teachers (Earl, Katz, et al., 2006).
These two examples show how teachers are
developed in a community and learn how to
facilitate learning for others. They teach us how,
and in what ways, teachers taken out of their
immediate school community become socialized
into a collaborative culture and more attuned to
the complexity and ambiguity of their classroom
work. They teach teachers to trust and learn
from one another. Both learning communities in
schools and networks across schools turn out to
be an important and viable way of thinking dif-
ferently about professional development.
Learning and Teaching
A number of reform networks have become
increasingly self-conscious about what they are
learning and how resources can be used to sup-
port teacher learning. For example the Networked
Communities (
has created many tools and templates for
teachers. These publications range from What
Does a Network Leader Do? to Getting Started
With Networked Research Lesson Study. As the
school networks grew, the organizing group
continued to put out publications that helped
to guide the various school networks in their
improvement efforts. In like manner, the
Coalition of Essential Schools invented meet-
ing tools that helped participants learn to talk
with one another, build trust, and help people
discuss teaching practice. In particular, they
introduced the power of protocols (McDonald
et al., 2007) and how to focus on looking at
student work (Allen & Blythe, 2004). These
materials are now used by networks and part-
nerships all over the country, helping teachers
learn a new way of being with their peers,
increasing their ability to talk publicly about
their practice, and improving their teaching by
working with their colleagues. As a new presi-
dent, I think you can see that by turning pro-
fessional development toward the building of
learning communities for teachers, providing
for variety and collaboration rather than uni-
formity and conformity, and putting teacher
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knowledge at the center instead of curriculum
packages, you will be supporting a culture of
professionalism rather than a “culture of con-
formity.” Our examples that follow show you
how these kinds of communities can be sup-
ported and developed.
How We Have Worked to Develop Teacher
Learning: A Tale of Three Communities
Experienced teachers know that teaching and
learning are complicated, layered enterprises.
But too often policy discussions of teaching are
reductive rather than expansive, leading to
analysis of aggregated test data instead of rich
discussions about ways to move the wisdom of
practice from classroom to classroom. Over the
past decade, we have worked with several
cohort communities in projects of the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
involved in developing K-12 teachers’ learning
and knowledge. Three different models of
teacher learning communities have developed:
One grew out of teachers’ own questions about
their practice, one deliberately engaged K-12
teachers and professors of teacher education in
“going public” with multimedia records of their
practice, and one traced the process of teachers
adapting what they learned from professional
development into their own classroom contexts.
Our work has placed more emphasis on
“going public” with teacher knowledge than
on studying learning outcomes for students.
Still to be accomplished is linking the growth
of the use of these records of teaching practices
to student learning outcomes. These records of
teaching practices pave the way for enriched
conversations about the complexities of student
learning. Getting underneath the students’ test
scores to investigate their understandings
of content over time, in interaction with their
instructors, more closely approaches the sophis-
tication and complexity with which accom-
plished teachers assess their students’ learning.
We have every reason to believe that a “culture
of craftsmanship” seen in high-quality profes-
sional development, as described earlier, will
be positively connected to improved student
LEARNING (CASTL), 1999–2004
The CASTL project consisted of several
cohorts of K-12 faculty from around the country
who were brought together for a period
between 1 and 2 years to develop the scholar-
ship of their teaching practice. According to
Shulman (1999), the teaching profession suffers
from a lack of a scholarly tradition, especially
when compared with professional and discipli-
nary learning in the sciences, law, and medi-
cine. If they are to learn from the expertise in
their ranks, teachers must make their inquiry
into their teaching practice public, invite others
to provide critique, and then build on their own
and others’ work to elevate the knowledge base
of teaching professionals. In the CASTL project,
however, we quickly observed that because of
the relational nature of teaching practice, it was
more difficult to adequately describe the multi-
layered nature of teachers’ questions, contexts,
and evolving practice over time in only one
medium. Many of the CASTL scholars began to
work with us to create multimedia Web sites
to share their questions and reflections as well
as videos of classroom practice, examples of
student work, and the teachers’ pedagogical
and curriculum materials (Hatch et al., 2005;
Hatch & Pointer Mace, 2007; Pointer, 2003;
Pointer, Hatch, & Iiyoshi, 2002).
In the CASTL project, the community was
formed around the exchange of the teachers’
scholarship; evolved over 1 to 2 years, combining
in-person assemblies with electronic asynchro-
nous communication; and culminated in the pub-
lication of the fellows’ work, variously online (in
the Gallery of the Scholarship of Teaching and
in educational journals (e.g., Cone, 2003), or in
books (e.g., Berger, 2003). Over time, allies of
the CASTL project who worked in teacher edu-
cation settings began to experiment with using
the Web sites as alternative texts for the prepa-
ration of novice teachers. Pam Grossman of
Stanford University, Anna Richert of Mills
College, and Kathy Schultz of the University of
Pennsylvania began experimenting with what
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it would mean to use Web sites as “texts” in
their courses, what new literacies would be
required to “read” practice, and how the sites
could connect with other “signature pedago-
gies” (Shulman, 2005) of teacher education
such as case analysis and student teaching field
placements. We realized that by bringing these
two communities together—accomplished
teachers and innovative teacher educators—
we might be able to significantly transform the
transmission of the “wisdom of practice”
(Shulman, 2004) in learning to teach.
Jointly funded by the Richard and Rhoda
Goldman Fund and the Carnegie Foundation,
the Quest Project brought together accom-
plished teachers in K-12 classrooms with a
national cohort of professors of teacher educa-
tion to create additional multimedia Web sites
of K-12 teaching practice, mindfully integrate
them into a diverse array of teacher education
settings, and document teacher educators’
processes of teaching with these new “texts.”
In this case, the Web sites not only originated
from the individual practitioners’ questions and
observations but were intended to respond to
particular gaps and dilemmas of teacher edu-
cation: teaching high school English teachers
how to run an effective discussion of literary
texts, showing elementary math teachers how
to carefully pose problems for mathematical
understanding, and showing how to help sec-
ondary teachers understand not only their
content matter but the developmental consid-
erations involved in teaching adolescents, just
to name a few.
In the Quest Project, the K-12 and teacher
education cohorts did not convene in a large
group together; rather, this extended commu-
nity exchanged ideas around the development
of the Web sites. As the K-12 and teacher edu-
cators documented their teaching, they made
draft versions of their Web sites public so that
interested colleagues could ask questions,
request relevant related materials, and prob-
lematize any contentious sections. The whole
group saw themselves as teachers and learners;
in fact, many of the teacher educators learned a
great deal from their more techno-savvy students
as they began to experiment with new tech-
nologies in their teaching. Because the commu-
nity was organized around the creation and
exchange of multimedia records of practice, its
culminating experience was the launch of a
“living archive” of teaching practice (http://www, which brought together
the individual practitioner Web sites, perspec-
tives on their use for teacher learning, related
resources and initiatives, and tools for creating
new multimedia Web sites of teaching practice.
Prior to the public launch of InsideTeaching
.org, however, something interesting began to
happen with one of the K-12 Web sites. The
project team started receiving dozens of unso-
licited e-mails in response to Jennifer Myers’s
Web site about her practice of readers and writ-
ers workshop in her second-grade classroom.
The e-mails, mostly from practicing teachers
but a few from teacher educators or school prin-
cipals, were uniformly appreciative of Myers’s
opening up her classroom practice for others to
learn from and with. One teacher applauded
her bravery in making her teaching public:
I think it is really brave of you to put yourself out
there like this so that many ofthe rest of us can “peek”
inside your classroom. One of the worst things about
teaching is that they never give you enough time to
observe in other classrooms ONCE you become a
teacher. You get lots of time when you are a student
teacher, but after you’ve taught for several years,
that’s when you know what to look for and what you
need to reinvigorate your classroom.
Another wrote that she “found the website
extremely helpful. Currently, I am in a creden-
tialing program and was very pleased to find
this site. It has served to clarify confusion about
how a Reader’s Workshop is conducted.” An
international teacher from Chang Mai, Thailand
wrote that she
stumbled across your website this afternoon while
preparing for a teachers training on reading and
writing workshops. I can’t believe that you are such
a new teacher! After only a few years you have
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really got it down! Bravo! . . . I am doing a teacher
training when school starts. We have graduated
from three teachers to five this coming year and as
the 5th grade teacher I am hoping to get everyone
“on the same page” so that by time the kids get to
me they have some basic skills. Until now it has
been every man for himself as far as teaching meth-
ods and strategies. Not working, believe me! Sadly,
I had a group of 5th graders this year who read 2nd
grade level and can’t write a sentence let alone a
paragraph or story. They had never really written
stories if you can believe it! Anyway, if you wouldn’t
mind I would like to show your videos to my
teachers during our training. They are wonderfully
done and so easy to follow.
After responding to these e-mails (and many
others) we learned that the teachers were com-
ing upon Myers’s site after entering “writing
workshop videos” into their search engines. By
chance, Jennifer Myers’s site tapped into a felt
need in the teaching community writ large—to
see into the practices of literacy workshop, to
unpack them, and to translate them to other
teaching contexts. Myers herself describes on
her Web site that her workshop approach to lit-
eracy has been greatly influenced by her expe-
riences in professional development run by
Every Child a Reader and Writer (ECRW), a
project funded by the Noyce Foundation. We
shared Myers’s site and the e-mail responses
with Noyce, and together we began to think
about what it might look like to capture the
process of transmission of knowledge for inser-
vice teachers, to document the practice of pro-
fessional development (and a professional
developer) and several teachers’ work to trans-
form the Noyce literacy and writing workshop
practices into their local settings.
In June 2007, we completed a yearlong ini-
tiative to document this transmission of the
“wisdom of practice” for experienced practic-
ing teachers in the teaching of writing. For the
first time, because the teachers involved had
structured their literacy instructional time in
parallel ways according to the Noyce model of
writing workshop, we were able to create one
Web site for multiple practitioners, centered
around a visual matrix allowing audiences to
follow not only the teaching, materials, and
reflections of individual teachers but also par-
ticular practices across grade levels in multiple
settings. Audiences hungry for examples of
different educators’ approaches to the teaching
of writing can follow how four teachers (grades
K, 2, 2, and 5) open the writing workshop, con-
fer with their students, provide independent
time for students to develop their writing, and
celebrate the works generated at the end of the
workshop period.
The Noyce Foundation prioritizes an impact
on local schools for ECRW, but this “Web site of
Web sites” allows audiences far beyond the
ECRW implementation school districts access
to these professional learning opportunities.
Contrary to professional development models
predicated on “best practice,” this project rests
on the assertion that there can be multiple ways
to translate strong ideas about literacy teaching
into particular classroom contexts. Teaching is
inherently variable, but that does not mean that
the practices are weakened by variability. By
contrast, a recognition that professional learn-
ing opportunities should adapt to particular
contexts, student populations, and develop-
mental levels will give the practices themselves
more traction and momentum.
Already the experienced teachers charged
with maintaining momentum for ECRW in
their local sites are thinking about ways to use
the site for professional learning. One coach
observed that the sites afford teachers the abil-
ity to “look out” (analyze the walls, charts, and
instructional supports visible in the classroom)
and “look in” (analyze the interactions between
teacher and student in a writing conference).
Another mentioned that showing examples of
a school’s literacy approach will greatly enhance
communication with parents on Back to School
nights. A principal observed that looking
across examples of teacher learning would be
strengthened even further by showing student
development over time, if a group of teachers
at a school site could commit to documenting
their practice and making it public. Their
response was strong—they see themselves as
part of a burgeoning movement in which
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teacher learning and teacher knowledge moves
from margin to center in the advancement of
the profession.
How Can We Reframe Professional
Development and Teacher Learning?
The teacher communities described here
exhibit the best we know so far about effective
professional development. They focus on
instruction; are sustained and continuous,
rather than short term and episodic; provide
opportunities for teachers to learn from one
another both inside and outside the school;
make it possible for teachers to influence how
and what they learn; and engage teachers in
thinking about what they need to know
(Hawley & Valli, 2007). Whether organized as a
group of teachers, a department, team, or a
group of schools, the idea of teacher communi-
ties has been embraced by educators all over the
world as a way of meeting the challenges of
improving schools in this fast-changing global
society. In addition, teachers are expanding their
circle of like-minded colleagues by forming and
joining online teaching communities, which
allow geographically dispersed members to
meet, exchange ideas, and learn from each other.
Perhaps if we think of these learning communi-
ties as the best professional development for
teachers, we can concentrate on offering sup-
ports that will encourage the communities to
grow and, in the process, create the conditions
for more open and collaborative school cultures.
1. A site in the NWP grows out of a university–school part-
nership. The university is the “owner” of the site. Beginning sites
receive $20,000 and must document both their plans and their
work throughout the year and keep accurate information on who
they serve and the nature of the formats for work.
Allen, D., & Blythe, T. (2004). The facilitators book of ques-
tions. New York: Teachers College Press.
Berger, R. (2003). An ethic of excellence: Building a culture of
craftsmanship in schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. (1993). Inside/outside: Teacher
research and knowledge. New York: Teachers College Press.
Cone, J. (2003, May/June). The construction of low
achievement: A study of one detracked senior English
class [Online]. The Harvard Education Letter. Retrieved
May 31, 2007, from
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... Principals who act as learning leaders should focus on the professional learning of teachers so that teachers' quality can be improved. This is in line with the statement by several researchers includingBarth (1990); Lieberman & Mace (2008), andParise& Spillane (2010)who explained that teacher professional learning is increasingly recognized as a critical factor to improve teacher quality and ensure continuous school improvement. In addition, research on school reform proves the importance of continuous professional learning because new goals, curricula, and teaching-learning methods are emerging (Geijsel et Although past studies have successfully proven the importance of professional learning for teachers, professional learning does not just happen, it must be fostered among teachers (Barth, 1990 Previous studies further strengthen the view that school leaders, especially principals, should be responsible for the professional learning of teachers.However, Balyer et al. (2015)found that principals know about professional learning communities and are aware of their importance, but they do not perform this role well because they have to perform administrative tasks. ...
:One of the focuses of Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025) is continuous professional learning to enhance the quality of the teaching profession. With this intention, the school principal needs to carry out their role as a learning leader to provide focus on learning and ensure teachers and students receive new knowledge and skills in line with today's education. Professional learning for teachers is activities that are essential to enhance knowledge, skills, and values for improving the teachers’ teaching and learning practices. This research aims to identify the role of school principals as professional learning leaders in leading the professional learning of teachers in South Malaysia’s boarding schools. Additionally, this research aims to identify the relationship between the school principals’ role as professional learning leaders and the impact of the principal’s authority over the teachers. This research is quantitatively based ona survey method of 1,033 respondents and 285 sample teachers. The data obtained has been analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS). Descriptive and inferential analysis have been used to answer the research problems and hypotheses. The result of this research shows that the principal's role as a professional learning leader leaders and teachers professional learning is high. Furthermore, the results of this research show that there is a significant correlation between principals’ roles as professional learning leaders and teachers’ professional learning. The implications of this study can contribute to knowledge and understanding of the principal's role as a professional learning leader and its relationship with teachers' professional learning.
... The teachers' engagement remained active as they continually worked together sharing ideas and information. Effective professional development was identified as active when teachers were engaged physically, cognitively, and emotionally through various activities such as sharing and discussions (Knowles, 1983;Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2008). In tandem with lessons happening inside the building, the faculty worked with students and parents to build a sustainable outdoor garden. ...
... Internationally, recent education reforms highlight the importance of ongoing teacher growth and in-service teacher learning (Boeskens, Nusche, and Yurita 2020;Lieberman and Pointer Mace 2008;Vuorikari 2019). Schools in China already have a long tradition of embedding teacher-professional learning in workplace practice. ...
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Dieser Beitrag beschreibt Partnerschaften von Schulen und Hochschulen in den Niederlanden, die es zum Ziel haben, die Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerbildung mithilfe des Potenzials beider Institutionen, Hochschule und Schule, zu verbessern. Er gibt einen Überblick über verschiedene Formen der Hochschul-Schul-Partnerschaft, wie sie in den Niederlanden bestehen, und beschreibt die Lernarrangements und die Begleitung der Studierenden in den Schulen. Zugrunde gelegt sind verschiedene Quellen, darunter staatliche Berichte und Forschungsbeiträge zur Kooperation von Schulen und Hochschulen. Sie zeigen, dass neue Formen der Zusammenarbeit das Vertrauen in die jeweils andere Institution stärken und die Unterstützung der Studierenden in den Praktika verbessern. Grundlage dafür scheint ein echtes Verantwortungsgefühl für die Ausbildung guter Lehrpersonen zu sein. Allerdings ist die Theorie-Praxis-Kluft durch die Kooperation nicht vollständig verschwunden. Eine neue Herausforderung ist die Entwicklung eines kohärenten Studienprogramms der Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerbildung auf der Grundlage der Zusammenarbeit der Akteure aus Schulen und Hochschulen.
Purpose : The purpose of this project was to explore the developmental stages of a community of practice (CoP) and its impact on teachers’ professional learning. Methods : Eight physical education (PE) teachers and one professor participated in this project, which specifically examined a CoP focused on PE (PE-CoP). Interviews and observations, as well as a focus group, were used to collect the data, which were analyzed through a constructivist revision of grounded theory. Results : The PE-CoP, which shared the same teaching model, progressed rapidly in its early stage by providing the teachers with collaborative activities to develop innovative pedagogies. Learning from the existing members was then added as a main type of professional learning for the teachers. The PE-CoP, however, gradually lost its collaborative approach, which led to ineffective professional learning. Conclusions : Finding an optimal balance between retaining focus on the primary goal of creating a CoP and offering fresh activities for more experienced members was determined to be a key factor in making the community healthy and sustainable.
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Instructional leadership has a remarkable importance in student learning and school development in the international literature. This situation enables researchers to examine different aspects of instructional leadership. This study aims to synthesize qualitative research findings examining the instructional leadership behaviors of school principals in Türkiye. Meta-synthesis method was employed; thus, 21 studies that met the inclusion criteria were analyzed using this method. The studies constituting the study's data source were accessed by scanning the databases of ERIC, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, YÖKTEZ (Council of Higher Education, National Thesis Center), and ULAKBİM (Turkish Academic Network and Information Center). As a result of the research, three themes were obtained: Instructional leadership behaviors, effects of instructional leadership, and factors hindering instructional leadership. Although the research results indicate positive relationships between instructional leadership and organizational effectiveness and development, the roles of school principals as instructional leaders in the Turkish education system, which has a centralized structure, are reflected in their actual daily practices to a limited extent. To this end, there is a need for more comprehensive empirical studies and evidence-based models of exactly how instructional leadership affects organizational development in the Turkish literature.
While coaches can have a positive impact on teachers’ practice and students’ learning, in many school districts teachers have the autonomy to decide whether and when to work with a coach. Coaches then must work to gain access to teachers’ classrooms. In a recent study of 28 content-focused coaches, researchers Jen Munson and Evthokia Stephanie Saclarides found that coaches used six types of strategies to gain access, typically coordinating multiple strategies tailored to the context. In this article, they describe these strategies and provide a reflection tool coaches can use to identify strategies they might use to increase their classroom access to support teaching and learning.
Bu çalışmada bireysel yenilikçilik ile ilgili yapılan çalışmaların analiz edilmesi ile ilgili alanda nasıl bir eğilim olduğunu ortaya çıkarmak amaçlanmıştır. Belirlenen amaç doğrultusunda Ulusal Tez Merkezinde eğitim öğretim temalı bireysel yenilikçilik ile ilgili 2011-2022 yılları arasında kayıtlı olan 43 adet tez incelenmiştir. Doküman inceleme yöntemi olarak tetkik edilen tezler kodlanarak yayın yılı, yayınlanan üniversite, tez türü, çalışma alanı, araştırma yöntemi, örneklem düzeyi ve büyüklüğü, veri toplama araçları ile araştırma amacı bağlamında içerik analizine tâbi tutulmuşlardır. Elde edilen veri setleri tablolar aracılığıyla görselleştirilerek yorumlanmıştır. Araştırma sonucunda 43 adet tezin ağırlıklı olarak nicel yöntemle ve anket ile veri toplanarak hazırlandığı, 2019 yılındaki tezlerin sayıca daha fazla olduğu, yüksek lisans tezlerinin çok büyük bir kısmı teşkil ettiği, , 26 farklı üniversiteye ait tez tespit edildiği, örneklem düzeyi bağlamında daha çok öğretmenlerle çalışıldığı, örneklem boyutunun çoğunlukla 201-500 aralığını kapsadığı ve tezlerin amaçlarının teknoloji kodlu içeriklerden seçildiği tespit edilmiştir. Çalışmada bulgular ilgili literatür doğrultusunda tartışılmış ve bazı önerilerde bulunulmuştur.
Educational reform networks are becoming increasingly important as alternative forms of teacher and school development in this time of unprecedented reform of schools. These networks appear to be a way of engaging school-based educators in better directing their own learning; allowing them to sidestep the limitations of institutional roles, hierarchies, and geographic locations; and encouraging them to work with many different kinds of people. In a study of sixteen educational reform networks, we found that they shared organizational themes relating to: (1) purposes and direction; (2) building collaboration, consensus, and commitment; (3) activities and relationships as important building blocks; (4) leadership as cross-cultural brokering and facilitating; and (5) dealing with the funding problem. Regardless of their differences, the sixteen networks we studied appear to have in common agendas more often challenging than prescriptive; learning that is more indirect than direct; formats more collaborative than individualistic; work that is intentionally more integrated than fragmented; leadership more facilitative than directive; thinking that encourages more multiple perspectives; values that are both context-specific and generalized; and structures more movement-like than organization- like.
Design principles for learner-centered professional development Research clearly shows that teacher expertise is the most significant school-based influence on student learning (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Greenwald, Hedges, & Laine, 1996; McCaffrey, Lockwood, Koretz, & Hamilton, 2003; Rice, 2003; Sanders & Horn, 1998). As a result, one would think that investments in enhancing teacher expertise would be a major focus of school improvement efforts. However, while virtually all school improvement proposals assert that professional development is important, the level of investment in teacher learning is seldom substantial. Moreover, it is difficult to find many defenders of the most commonly used strategies for professional development (see National Commission on Teaching & America's Future [NCTAF], 1996). Investments in professional development have many purposes. This chapter focuses on two of them: To strengthen the capacity and motivation of teachers to improve student learning in specific ways To build new capacity within the school or district (such ...
Inside the National Writing Project: Connecting Network Learning and Classroom Teaching, by Ann Lieberman and Diane R. Wood, New York, New York, Teachers College Press, 2003. 117 pp. $18.95, paper. Inside the National Writing Project details the findings of a two-year research project on the impact of the National Writing Project (NWP) network on student and teacher learning. It provides insight into one of the most influential and longest lasting professional development programs in the United States. Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Diane R. Wood, Assistant Professor at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Southern Maine, have previously published studies of school reform networks and are well known for their research on professional development. This study of the National Writing Project is the direct result of information gained in other studies reported in the Teachers College Press series on school reform. Lieberman and Wood sought to learn why teachers who participated in the Writing Project's Invitational Summer Institute consistently cited the National Writing Project as having transformed their professional lives. Inside the National Writing Project studies two sites of the Writing Project, one in urban Los Angeles and one in Oklahoma that consists of rural, suburban, and urban school districts. In the context of the two sites, this study describes the principles, activities, and social practices of the National Writing Project. Lieberman studied the Los Angeles site and Wood studied the Oklahoma site. The sites, selected because of their contrasting contexts, provide dissimilar perspectives for viewing the implementation of the NWP model. Divided into five chapters, this volume begins with an overview of the role of teachers in professional development, a description of professional development networks in relation to school reform, and a synopsis of the development of the National Writing Project. Subsequent chapters detail the NWP model, the social culture of the Writing Project and how the network is sustained and expanded. Through portraits of teacher consultants, the fourth chapter connects Writing Project learning with teaching practice and student achievement. The final chapter summarizes the multilayered Writing Project structure, paying particular attention to its schooluniversity partnership strategy, inquiry stance, local contexts that define its practices. The research design, described in the appendix, identifies the study questions, methodology, and data analysis. As are the other volumes in the Teachers College Press school reform series, Inside the National Writing Project presents valuable insights for educational policymakers, teacher educators, and practitioners. It is relatively straightforward in presenting an overview of the National Writing Project's success in the context of the reform arena and in contrast to other reform models. …
Prologue Part I. Practice: Introduction I 1. Meaning 2. Community 3. Learning 4. Boundary 5. Locality Coda I. Knowing in practice Part II. Identity: Introduction II 6. Identity in practice 7. Participation and non-participation 8. Modes of belonging 9. Identification and negotiability Coda II. Learning communities Conclusion: Introduction III 10. Learning architectures 11. Organizations 12. Education Epilogue.
Educational partnerships between universities and public schools have existed for over 100 years. During this time, especially the last decade, many educational partnerships were formed, only to fizzle shortly thereafter. When educational partnerships have been formed to provide only temporary band-aid solutions to very complex and multifaceted problems, they, like other trends, have faded away. Yet, some educational partnerships have continued to shine and to become viable coalitions. Successful partnerships focused on complex issues related to staff development, teacher training and school leadership require extensive collaboration, reflection, and continued revision. The purpose of this article is to explore some of the tenets that lead to the success and demise of school/university partnerships. In addition, this article describes a collaborative process employed by a university department of educational leadership, a regional consortium, and three school systems to design and offer a principal preparation program, delivered entirely in the field.