Case Study: Making It Work: Studying Your School Community

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Making It Work: Studying Your School Community--- What Do We Believe! Schools may face many barriers, but for change to happen, professional learning communities need to have the opportunity to collaborate, plan, and learn together. In order for the change process to be effective, learning communities must shift from the comforts of teaching in isolation to a culture of collaboration. Spending time focusing on student needs and learning from each other is imperative. According to Maag (2009), student behavior and learning can improve when a paradigm shift happens, moving teachers away from working in isolation to working together. Professional growth needs to move away from short in-services to long-term training. Resistance from teachers…show more content…
Questioning instructional practices allows teachers and administrators to work collaboratively rather than in isolation. Discussions and decisions can be made to resolve issues and move forward on the best instructional practices to improve student achievement. Nissila (2005) stated Senge’s (1990) conditions for enhancing collective dialogue, they are, “participants must suspend their assumptions,” participants should value and trust their colleagues, and the facilitator must maintain the purpose and flow of the dialogue. These remove emotion from the discussion and helps work toward a shared vision of collaborative learning and reflection (Nissila,…show more content…
Often times, these structures can be barriers to making effective instructional decision making. Professional learning communities were developed to help teachers and school leaders to dig deeply into instructional practices. It is a shift away from the “sit and get” teacher workshops, and a movement into deep learning, understanding, and practice of instructional strategies to improve instruction and student learning (Maag, 2009). Shifting to a school culture that is collaborative and promotes positive change allows teachers and administration to build a cohesive school
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