Books and Other Documents

Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) offer another approach to teacher collaboration.

DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (1998). Professional learning communities at work: Best practices for enhancing student achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. 

This book is included on the list because it is one of the earliest and most widely used books on the topic. Even though it was published a long time ago, the book can still help new PLCs understand how they ought to be organized, what they should be doing, and why they should be doing certain things and not others. Over the years, this book has gotten mixed reviews—many good, and a few bad. 

Click here for the free on-line study guide to accompany this book.

Graham, P., & Ferriter, W. (2009). Building a professional learning community at work: A guide to the first year. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Winner of the 2010 National Staff Development Council’s Staff Development Book of the Year Award, this book provides reproducible worksheets, surveys, checklists, and guides for principals and educators to help them lead the work of establishing, organizing, and supporting teams. Although this book is aimed at PLCs, the information it presents would help any organization in which multiple teams of professionals are being established—TBTs, BLTs, or data teams. It has particular salience to teams that are encountering the challenges of the first year or several years. The book is organized chronologically, walking the reader through the first year of developing teams within a school, and each chapter is divided into predictable sections: “Lessons from the Front Line,” “Relevant Theory and Research,” and “Recommendations.” 

Jolly, A. (2005). A facilitator’s guide to professional learning teams. Greensboro, NC: SERVE: University of North Carolina at Greenboro.

With a forward contributed by Shirley Hord, this guide is written in accessible language geared for both teacher and administrator audiences. It is well organized and uses clear language. The book provides printable conversation guides, role-defining guides, and self-assessments for use in meetings. The layout is user-friendly (10 steps to successful teaming, with each step broken into sections), and the book includes helpful sidebars. This text is attentive to the fact that team creation and teamwork are long and difficult processes. For example, the discussion of Step 7 provides a good example of how well this guide attends to the difficulties of developing trust and consensus. The research supporting the practices that the guide recommends is woven into the text nicely. The “Maintain the Momentum” section has productive suggestions for principals who need to support the work of developing the capacity of teachers and teacher teams. 

Morrissey, M. (2000). Professional learning communities: An ongoing exploration. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

One of the main draws of this resource is that it is freely available online. This work focuses mainly on the research and theoretical literature supporting PLCs, with focus in the latter sections on the actual construction and maintenance of teams. 

Videos

Webinars

The Ohio Improvement Process: Opportunities and Supports for New Teachers

This webinar provides an overview of the Ohio Improvement Process and its connection to the concerns of new teachers. It includes information about the Ohio Resident Educator Program and the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. The webinar includes some slides with links to additional resources. Click here to view webinar.

The Ohio Improvement Process for Prospective Teachers: A Look at What’s Happening

This webinar provides an overview of the Ohio Improvement Process and its connection to what teacher education students are learning in their preparation programs. It also provides information about procedures that new Ohio teachers will encounter, such as the Ohio Resident Educator Program and the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. The webinar includes some slides with links to additional resources. Click here to view webinar.

On-line Modules

Several OLAC modules offer relevant information about the role and function of data teams. To gain access to these modules, sign up for an OLAC account at the following web address: ohioleadership.org

The OLAC modules that focus most closely on the work of Teacher-based Teams are:

  • Collaborative Teams and Organizational Structure
  • Creating Cultures Grounded in Data
  • Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners
  • Teacher-Based Teams (TBTs): What Districts Need to Know
  • The Collaborative Process

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