Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton
Chapter Eight: Developing Effective Learning Communities: The Power of Principal and PLC Leadership Team Collaboration (Jessica R. Weiler / Kathleen Topolka-Jorissen)
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Developing Effective Learning Communities
The Power of Principal and PLC Leadership Team Collaboration
JESSICA R. WEILER AND KATHLEEN TOPOLKA-JORISSEN
COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING COMMUNITIES
In recent years, many principals have assumed the challenge of implementing professional learning communities (PLCs) to foster school improvement. Whether motivated by the reported benefits of learning communities (Annenberg Institute for School Reform 2005; Carroll, Fulton, & Doerr, 2010; Gupton, 2003; Holland, 2005; Jaquith, 2013; Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom, & Anderson, 2010; Newmann & Wehlage, 1995; Vescio, Ross, & Adams, 2008) or by a district mandate, principals have been widening the scope of leadership to include teachers in collaborative efforts to improve student achievement. In many cases, they do so without a clear understanding of their own leadership role in this process or the critical steps needed to implement learning communities successfully.
Professional learning communities engage educators in working collaboratively to increase student achievement (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2006; Hord, 2008). Although the concepts and processes of the PLC have been evolving in schools for over 20 years, definitive research on the supports needed for PLC success has been limited. Consensus on the key role played by the principal is strong, but specifics about what that role entails are somewhat limited, and even more scarce is research on strategies principals should use to ensure that PLCs achieve maximum effectiveness. In this chapter, we...
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