Publication Date: July 24, 2008
Series: series on school reform
Based on their research and many years of lived experience in schools, the authors have become convinced that teachers learn best within their own work communities. In this volume, they explore what research and practice have to tell us about how such communities grow and develop, and how to negotiate the inherent tension between improving competence and building community. Using five themes that emerged from their studies of practice—context, capacity, content, commitment, and challenge—the authors examine selected research studies, personal reflections, and five cases that were especially commissioned for this volume in order to uncover new insights and understandings. The text begins with essays on research and long-term development projects and concludes with vignettes that address the following questions:
Ann Lieberman was a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is now at Stanford University. Lynne Miller is Professor of Educational Leadership and Director of the Southern Maine Partnership at the University of Southern Maine. They are the editors of Teachers Caught in the Action: Professional Development That Matters.
“Breaks new ground….Lieberman and Miller tell us how teacher learning communities develop inside and outside schools. A must-read for anyone committed to improving teaching quality—teacher leaders, teacher educators, principals and district administrators, school reformers, and professional developers.”
—Joan Talbert, co-director of the Stanford University Center for Research on the Context of Teaching.
“Lieberman and Miller give teaching back to teachers and demonstrate the power of what can be done when teachers improve their work together. This is not a text about numbers and targets, but a book about people working to improve their practice in the real and messy worlds of children and classrooms that all teachers know so well.”
—Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College.
“A rich and rewarding collection of perspectives on teachers’ professional communities. Contributing practitioners draw on their experience to show how both teachers and students benefit from the new expectations and practices created in professional communities….An important contribution to the field.”
—Milbrey McLaughlin, David Jacks Professor of Education and Public Policy, Stanford University
“Support for the notion of professional learning communities has become widespread but deep understanding of how to start and sustain such groups of teacher learners is much more scarce. This book brings the practice of professional learning communities alive, with vivid examples drawn from real schools in a wide range of settings. It is a must-read for those who want to support teacher learning that enables student learning.”
—Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University