PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
“None of us is as smart as all of us.” Warren Bennis
Working together, we can achieve more than we can alone. Schools and districts are becoming more successful by organizing to learn from their experiences and the experiences of other schools and districts throughout the country. We help districts and schools become “learning organizations,” or “professional learning communities” where adults learn from one another, make decisions based on data and knowledge, and share responsibility for implementing decisions.
We have used various approaches to helping district and school leaders imagine schools in which adult learning is a part of the fabric of the organization. For example, building on the work of Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker, we helped high school principals and central office leaders build a learning continuum to identify the elements of a professional learning community, to describe the various stages of a school’s development toward the goal of becoming a professional learning community, and to identify the actions that need to be taken to move from one stage to the next. The process for creating the continuum deepened the understanding of professional learning communities and clarified the kind of leadership needed to foster learning communities.