- Paperback: 235 pages
- Publisher: Solution Tree (July 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932127933
- ISBN-13: 978-1932127935
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work (Book & CD-ROM)
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From the Inside Flap
Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work helps educators close the knowing-doing gap as they transform their schools into professional learning communities (PLC). This handbook is a guide for action that will: help educators develop a common vocabulary and consistent understanding of key PLC concepts, present a compelling argument that the implementation of PLC concepts will benefit students and educators alike, help educators assess the current reality in their own schools and districts, and convince educators to take purposeful steps to develop their capacity to function as PLCs.
About the Author
Richard DuFour is one of North America's leading authorities on bringing PLC concepts to life in the real world of schools. He has coauthored 8 books, more than 50 articles, and 3 video series on PLC concepts, principles, and practices. Rebecca DuFour has been featured in 3 video series on effective leaders and PLCs. She has coauthored 4 books and numerous articles and has consulted with educators throughout North America as they work to create PLCs in their schools and districts. Robert Eaker has been cited as one of the nation's leading experts in helping educators translate research into practice. He is the coauthor of 7 books and numerous articles and has helped educators around the world implement PLC practices in their schools. Thomas Many is the superintendent of Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He has led implementation of PLC concepts in the district, which as been recognized as one of the state's highest-achieving and lowest-spending districts.
Top customer reviews
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by Richard Dufour, Rebecca Dufour, Robert Eaker, Thomas Many (2010)
The second edition of Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work is a significant rewrite from the first edition of 2006. The first edition is 235 pages and the second is 281 pages. A number of the pages were rewritten and some were relocated. Chapter Eight "Implementing the PLC Process Districtwide" is new. Dufour et. al. have introduced "Implementation Stage" along the PLC continuum. This will be helpful to guide learning leaders as they implement an authentic PLC.
A welcome innovation found in this book is that the CD enclosed in the first edition is not included. Rather readers may go online to go.solution-tree.com/PLCbooks . In this way revisions and changes may be made without having to produce new CDs. In the not too distant future textbooks will not be required but rather resources for learners in our schools will be online, a twenty-first century reality.
The authors have used, with mixed effectiveness, Richard Elmore's (2006) concept of Reciprocal Accountability throughout this volume. Elmore states, "For every increment of performance I demand of you, I have an equal responsibility to provide you with the capacity to meet that expectation. Likewise, for every investment you make in my skill and knowledge, I have a reciprocal responsibility to demonstrate some new increment in performance (p. 93)." The employers of teachers are the first adopters of commercial PLCs. It is easy sometimes to overlook their responsibility to support teachers by developing teacher capacity to work as authentic professional learning communities. The authors may find the concept of intelligent accountability, articulated by Onora O'Neill in A Question of Trust (2002)A Question of Trust: The BBC Reith Lectures 2002 helpful in further challenging school leaders concerning accountability measures.
Although these authors write about Reciprocal Accountability, they demonstrate a weak grasp of the concept. For example, on page 128 they state, "Therefore, one of the most important elements of reciprocal accountability that districts and schools must address is establishing clear parameters and priorities that guide the work of teams toward the goal of student learning." Reciprocal accountability has to do with building capacity within the teaching staff after parameters and priorities are established.
At several places (particularly at page 252) Dufour et. al. refer to the work of Robert Evans, The Human Side of School Change: Reform, Resistance and the Real-Life Problems of Innovation (2001).The Human Side of School Change: Reform, Resistance, and the Real-Life Problems of Innovation (Jossey-Bass Education Series) They seem to miss the point Evans makes in his book. Proponents of commercial PLCs deal with resistance as a matter of cognition, of wringing out collective commitments and convincing teachers they should "make a difference." Evans argues, "...that the key factor in change is what it means to those who must implement it, and that its primary meanings encourage resistance; it provokes loss, challenges competence, creates confusion and causes conflict" (p. 21). The authors' suggestions on how to overcome resistance is simplistic.
The authors also give a challenge (31) to look for studies that refute or contradict their claims that teachers should work in new ways. Linda M. McNeil has written The Contradictions of School Reform (2000).Contradictions of School Reform: Educational Costs of Standardized Testing (Critical Social Thought) In it she studied the experiences of school reform in Texas as the state attempted to "bring up the bottom" by imposing accountability controls and standardization. Her research discovered that teachers were de-skilled, that there were curricular losses, and a serious erosion of authentic teaching and learning. McNeil's study gives teachers good reasons not to blindly accept top-down school reform.
This edition of Learning by Doing has been a welcome update as the authors continue their "evangelical" endeavors to help school district improve on both teacher learning and student learning through PLCs. I look forward to their next offering. In it I hope they will have a chapter titled "Implementing the PLC Process Statewide."
Dr. John Merks
Riverview High School