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Leading learning through Professional Learning Communities

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Title: Leading learning through Professional Learning Communities Author: Professor Louise Stoll Last modified by: Hertfordshire County Council Created Date – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Leading learning through Professional Learning Communities


1
Leading Learning Through Professional Learning
Communities
Professor Louise Stoll Creating Capacity for
Learning President International Congress for
School Effectiveness and Improvement, Visiting
Professor Institute of Education, University of
London London Leadership Centre email
louise_at_louisestoll.com
Hertfordshire Secondary Heads and Deputy
Heads Wheathampstead Development Centre, 23 June
2004
2
Outline
Professional learning communities why now?
What are they?
What makes them effective?
How can you lead learning through professional
learning communities?
3
Professional learning communities why all the
interest?
4
Futures
Possible futures - things which could happen,
although many are unlikely Probable futures -
things which probably will happen, unless
something is done to turn events
around Preferable futures - things you prefer
to have happen and/or what you would like to plan
to happen
Beare (2001)
5
  • Three key change forces
    influencing schools
  • Powerful industrial sector associated with new
    technologies views education as a market place
  • Growing awareness of the need for new approaches
    to learning and realisation that the only
    genuinely marketable skill is that of learning
    itself
  • Child power children with increasingly less
    regard for school as it lags behind the society
    it serves
  • Papert (1996)

6
What do Teachers Need to Learn?
  • Understanding learning
  • Content knowledge
  • Pedagogical understanding
  • Emotional understanding
  • Fundamentals of change
  • New professionalism
  • Meta-learning

Stoll, Fink and Earl (2003)
7
Capacity . . . is a complex blend of motivation,
skill, positive learning, organisational
conditions and culture, and infrastructure of
support. Put together, it gives individuals,
groups and, ultimately whole school communities
the power to get involved in and sustain
learning. Stoll, Stobart et al (2003)
8
What are professional learning communities?
9
Learning community . . . A group of people who
take an active, reflective, collaborative,
learning-oriented, and growth-promoting approach
toward the mysteries, problems and perplexities
of teaching and learning Mitchell and Sackney
(2000)
10
Creating and Sustaining Effective Professional
Learning Communities Project, 2001-2004
An effective professional learning community has
the capacity to promote and sustain the learning
of all professionals in the school community with
the collective purpose of enhancing pupil
learning.
Co-directors Ray Bolam, Agnes McMahon, Louise
Stoll, Sally Thomas and Mike Wallace
11
What makes professional learning communities
effective?
12
Question
What are the three most distinguishing
characteristics of your effective professional
learning community/ communities?

13
  • An effective professional learning
  • community may have an impact on
  • pupils learning process and progress, attitudes,
    attendance
  • individual teachers and other staffs practice,
    morale, recruitment and retention
  • individual leadership practice
  • organisational learning practices among groups or
    across the whole school

14
How can you lead learning through professional
learning communities?
15
Three ways leaders handle pressures of education
and change
Coping Limit selves to managing school and
respond only to directives from higher
sources Diffusion Aware of new trends and
indiscriminately set goals - Christmas
tree schools (Bryk et al, 1998) Goal-focused
Select a few reasonable goals, establish
priorities, and ignore or manage other
pressures
Tye (2000)
16
  • Focus of capacity building
  • creating and maintaining the necessary
    conditions, culture and structures
  • facilitating learning and skill-oriented
    experiences and opportunities
  • ensuring interrelationships and synergy between
    all the component parts
  • Stoll and Bolam (forthcoming)

17
Growing a learning culture
Working towards sustainability
Nurturing trust and relationships
Professional learning community
Ensuring supportive structures
Offering learning opportunities
Creating and transferring knowledge
Promoting inquiry mindedness
Making connections
Louise Stoll (2004)
18
Growing a learning culture
Professional learning community
19
How organisations work when no-one is
looking Morgan (1998)
20

21
Task Think about your schools ceremonies,
rituals and symbols. What do they say about your
schools focus? Is it on learning for all?

22
Expectations - Quotes from Improving School
Effectiveness Project Teachers in Scotland
Home background, deprivation, parental views on
education. Often survival is more important than
taking on board educational opportunities. Some
children are never going to achieve very much.
Stoll et al (2001)
in MacBeath and Mortimore (eds)
there are no limitations. You can come in this
door and the world is your oyster the children
will be encouraged. Nothing is holding us back.
23
agree I like work that challenges
me 71 I have to think hard to do my work 65 My
work is too easy 18 My work is too
hard 14 I give up when work gets too hard 26
Key Stage 3 Strategy Pilot Year 8 Survey (2164
students)
My teachers all/most Encourage me to do my
best work 73 Help me to understand my
work 73 Tell me how I can improve my work 70
24
Nurturing trust and relationships
Professional learning community
25
  • Invitational leadership
  • Leadership is about communicating invitational
    messages to individuals and groups with whom
    leaders interact in order to build and act on a
    shared and evolving vision of enhanced
    educational experiences for pupils.
  • Stoll and Fink (1996)
  • Inviting yourself personally
  • Inviting yourself professionally
  • Inviting others personally
  • Inviting others professionally

26
  • Four Dimensions
    of Relational Trust
  • Respect
  • 2. Competence
  • 3. Personal regard for others
  • 4. Integrity
  • Bryk and Schneider (2002)

27
Offering learning opportunities
Professional learning community
28
High
C H A L L E N G E S
Arousal
Flow
Anxiety
Worry
Control
Relaxation
Apathy
Boredom
High
Low
SKILLS
Csikszentmihalyi (1990)
29
Professional learning community
Promoting inquiry mindedness
30
A place of questioning where you must ask the
question and the answer questions you.
31
Leaders in a Data-Rich World
  • Develop an Inquiry Habit of Mind
  • Become Data Literate
  • Create a Culture of Inquiry

Earl and Katz (2002)
32
Leadership comparison between different levels
of responsibility


Statements
middle managers

SMTs
teachers

Pri
Sec
Pri
Sec

Pri
Sec
29
38
80
53
72
87
Staff participate in
important decision
making
The SMT openly
26
35
71
48
60
91
recognises teachers
when they do things well
There is effective
55
46
60
48
86
87
communication
between SMT
and teachers
McCall et al (2001) in MacBeath and
Mortimore (eds)
33
What helps you to learn in school?
Clear learning objectives and explanations I
like to be clear what I am learning 93
agree My teachers explain things clearly 63
all/most
Group work I enjoy working in groups 91
agree
Making learning active and enjoyable I am really
interested in my schoolwork 61 agree My
teachers make learning fun 34 all/most 2164
Year 8 students Evaluation of Key Stage 3
(Middle Years) Strategy Pilot in England Stoll,
Stobart et al (2003)
34
There is one touchstone question for the critical
friend, which is not too far away from what a
teacher would, or should, ask in relation to the
class or individual learner Will this help to
develop independence, the capacity to learn and
to apply learning more effectively over
time? MacBeath (1998)
35
Professional learning community
Making connections
36
A collection of parts that do not connect is not
a system. It is a heap. OConnor and McDermott
(1997)
37
Every Child Matters
Primary Strategy
Foundation Stage
NLC
Curriculum
Teaching Learning
Parents, Community, Partnerships
ICT
SEN
EAL
Professional development
38
Leading networking Scouting for talent Making
connections Inspiring people Facilitating
learning possibilities Presenting new ideas
using a model of collective inquiry Lieberman
and Wood (2003)
39
Questions What are your most effective networks
and partnerships and why? How do they help
develop and sustain your own professional
learning community?
40
Professional learning community
Creating and transferring knowledge
41
Innovation and Best Practice Project Probably
the most important outcome of the IBPP project
was its lessons for teacher learning. The most
powerful innovations incorporated teams of
teachers learning by working with new knowledge
and, in the process, enhancing their
understanding of the learning needs and
capacities of their students. Cuttance and
Stokes (2001)
42
Four key conditions
for creative learning The need to be
challenged The elimination of negative
stress Feedback The capacity to live with
uncertainty Lucas (2001)
43
Ensuring supportive structures
Professional learning community
44
Structural conditions that support professional
learning community Time to meet and
talk Physical proximity Interdependent teaching
roles Resources Communication
mechanisms Planning Coordination of
professional development
45
Working towards sustainability
Professional learning community
46
Sustainable improvements are not fleeting changes
that disappear when their champions have left.
Sustainable leadership is not achieved by
charismatic leaders whose shoes are too big to
fill. Instead, it spreads beyond individuals in
chains of influence that connect the actions of
leaders to their predecessors and
successors. Hargreaves and Fink (2004)
47
  • Working towards sustainability involves
  • attending to the other dimensions in an ongoing
    way
  • regularly revisiting the learning vision and foci
  • inducting, inviting and involving new staff
  • embedding collaborative learning and teaching
    initiatives into school planning processes
  • systematically evaluating the process

48
Growing a learning culture
Working towards sustainability
Nurturing trust and relationships
Professional learning community
Ensuring supportive structures
Offering learning opportunities
Creating and transferring knowledge
Promoting inquiry mindedness
Making connections
Louise Stoll (2004)
49
. . . discover and provide the conditions under
which peoples learning curves go off the
chart. Barth (2001)
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