Annotated Bibliography

Establishing a Learning Culture Through PLCs

Blankstein, A., Houston, P., & Cole, R. (2008). Sustaining professional learning communities. CA, Corwin Press.
This book is part of a multivolume series titled The Soul of Educational Leadership and is purposed to look beyond inclusiveness and transformation into sustaining and improving upon the valuable work of professional learning communities. If you desire to ensure your professional learning community culture supports enduring change, this is a perfect collection of written contributions from noted researchers for you. Enduring change defines education; allow the insights in this book to strengthen your community.
Eaker, R., DuFour, R., & Burnette, R. (2002). Getting started: Reculturing schools to become professional learning communities. IN, National Educational Service.
Eaker, DuFour, and Burnette provide insight that simply changing the structure of a school will not produce fundamental changes. The culture, the belief system of a school, must also change. This guide provides you a conceptual framework for the PLC model. Chapter 1 focuses on the cultural shifts that must take place as schools move from more traditional ways of doing things to functioning as a PLC. Chapter 2 addresses the issue of finding the time to do all that is required to transform a school into a PLC. Chapter 3 presents the lessons learned from one particular school that made the transition to becoming a PLC in 1 year. Chapter 4, presented as a "conversation" with the authors, focuses on the major issues associated with getting started in creating a PLC. Chapter 5 challenges readers not to wait on others but to take personal steps to create a PLC in their school. Chapters 6 and 7 contain examples, handouts, and case studies intended to serve as useful tools to help move the PLC process forward. This resource is a great framework approach to “get started”! If you find the authors’ perspectives helpful, you may want to explore additional book publications on Professional Learning Communities to include: Professional Learning Communities at Work, Whatever It Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don’t Learn.
Hord, S. (1997). Process for developing learning communities. Professional Learning Communities.
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Peter Senge takes on the role of a principal and explains how he would develop a learning community in his school. Senge provides insight by reinventing a school through case history with focus on vision, relationships, empowerment, and academic focus. Five case studies are also synthesized and “lessons learned” are shared. This is a helpful read for those principals who wish to develop or strengthen PLC’s in their school.
Hord, S., & Sommers, W. (2008). Leading Professional Learning Communities. CA, Corwin Press.
This book represents thorough and thoughtful insights on Professional Learning Communities. Hord and Sommers guide your thoughts through defining and effects of a PLC. You will explore PLC through key attributes: leadership, culture and context, conditions needed to get started, skills, assessing and monitoring, and outcomes. This book is an excellent resource for both the teacher and administrator to either strengthen or begin an effective PLC culture. Katz, S., Earl, L., & Jaafar, S. (2009). Building and connecting learning communities. CA, Corwin Press. The authors of this book purposed their words for teacher leaders, school administrators, and district leaders who have the responsibility for leading change. They embedded personal narratives providing their experiences through work with numerous networks. NLC ‘s (networked learning communities) allow your within-school learning communities to connect in a purposeful way. You will find the book can be read in its entirety to guide your networking efforts in connecting professional learning work across the school and district; you will also find the experiences shared provide an excellent conversation starter as you refine your culture.
Ullman, Ellen. How to create a professional learning community. Edutopia.
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Ullman provides a few tried and true tips for planning a professional learning community in this web article to include: teaching participants how to collaborate, creating an atmosphere of trust, allowing time for the PLC, being broad and inclusive, getting outside help, and remembering the L in PLC. This is a quick read that is packed with effective PLC attributes. Consider your existing PLC or make plans to develop one as you read.