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Schools as Learning Communities


Schools as Learning Communities Professor Christopher Day – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Schools as Learning Communities

Schools as Learning Communities
  • Professor Christopher Day

The School as Learning Community
  • Learning must be situated in a critical community
    of inquirers who accept that knowledge is always
    partial and fallible and who support the
    enrichment of knowledge through sharing of
    meanings, interpretations, and learnings among
    all members of the community.
  • The learning agenda of the school must be
    continually related to something intrinsically
    human - to the exploration of questions important
    to human individuals and social life.
  • The learning agenda of the school must be related
    to the large cultural projects of our current era
    as well as to the cultural projects of our
    history. Thus, school learnings are connected to
    a significant discourse about the making of
  • School meanings must be continuously related to
    students' experience of everyday life.
  • (Starratt, 1996, p. 70)

Learning Communities are Multi-Level
  • Individual
  • focussing upon teacher efficacy i.e. "the extent
    to which the teacher believes he or she
  • has the capacity of affect student performance".
  • Group
  • the use of distributed intelligence (Gronn, 2000)
  • clarity of goals
  • collaboration norms
  • encouragement of divergence of views
  • Whole Organisation
  • professional community i.e. shared sense of
    purpose, collective focus on student learning,
  • reflective dialogue, de-privatised practice.
  • Families (as much as 75 of the variables)
  • which co-produce conditions which foster
    student learning.

Qualities of Learning Communities
  • 1. Caring
  • 2. Inclusive
  • 3. Trust
  • 4. Empowerment
  • 5. Commitment

Part 1
  • C.P.D.

The Need for C.P.D.
  • Schools as Learning Communities
  • Educators as Lifelong Learners
  • Education
  • Training

The Inquiring Teacher
  • Reflection at the centre - what kinds?
  • Working in communities - inside and outside
  • Learning to teach over a lifespan
  • Being entitled to personal and professional
    support and challenge
  • Systematic investigation critiquing ones own

Precepts for learning and capacity building
  • Successful schools are learning communities for
    adults as well as children
  • Teachers learn best when they participate
    actively in discussions about the content,
    processes and outcomes of their learning
  • Successful learning requires time for critical
    reflection of different kinds, and action
    research is the most effective means of
    investigating practice
  • Learning alone though ones own experience will
    ultimately limit progress
  • Successful learning requires collaboration with
    others from inside and outside the workplace
  • Teacher learning and development are necessary
    for school improvement
  • School leaders play a significant role in teacher
    learning and the development of a schools
    capacity to improve and cope with change
  • At its best, learning will have personal and
    professional significance for teachers
  • Supported, sustained learning over time is likely
    to be more beneficial to the individual and
    organisation than short term learning
  • If schools are to operate effectively in devolved
    systems, much reliance has to be placed on trust
    in professional judgement at school level
  • (Day and Hadfield, 2004)

The Nature of CPD a definition
  • 'Professional development consists of all natural
    learning experiences and those conscious and
    planned activities which are intended to be of
    direct or indirect benefit to the individual,
    group or school, and which contribute, through
    these, to the quality of education in the
    classroom. It is the process by which, alone and
    with others, teachers review, renew and extend
    their commitment as change agents to the moral
    purposes of teaching and by which they acquire
    and develop critically the knowledge, skills and
    emotional intelligence essential to good
    professional thinking, understanding, planning
    and practice with children, young people and
    colleagues throughout each phase of their
    teaching lives.'
  • (Day, 1999, p 4).

C.P.D. at the centre School Improvement Planning
Learning in School Team Teaching Peer
Coaching Action Research Problem-Solving
Groups Reviews of Students Assessment
Development Case Studies of Practice Planning
Groups Writing for Professional Journals School
Site Management Teams On-line Conversations Peer
Reviews of Practice Performance
Management Mentoring
CPD Settings
Table 1 - Organising for Professional Development
Direct Teaching Knowledge update Skill
update Awareness Sessions Initial
Conversations Charismatic Speakers Conferences Cou
rses and Workshops Consultants
Learning Out of School Networked Learning
Communities School/University Partnerships Subject
/Phase Networks Study Groups University Courses
Based on Lieberman Miller (1999, p 73)
The Three Orientations of CPD
Figure 1 Orientations of Career-Long Professional
Development Planning
Orientation of development activity
Individual professional (extended/long- term
career related)
Professional practitioner (immediate classroom
management/ knowledge/ skills update/training
Organisational (role related training/ development
Kinds of Professional Development
Underlying view of individual
Individual as Person
Individual as member of wider community of
professionals and educative leader
Individual as manager of learning and
Individual as member of school community
Change in Learning (Attitudes, Behaviour,
  • Evolutionary
  • Incremental
  • Transformative

Part 2
  • Evaluation

Evaluating CPD Effectiveness
  • 1. Participants reactions
  • 2. Participants learning from CPD (cognitive,
    affective, behavioural)
  • 3. Organisational support and change
  • 4. Participants use of new knowledge and skills
  • 5. Student outcomes
  • Tom Guskey (2000)

Participants Reactions
  • Method of evaluation
  • Happy Sheet
  • Discussion
  • Focus Groups/Interviews
  • Departmental/Staff meetings
  • Learning logs/reflective journals

..we have two meetings a week, ones just a
standard meeting, and then what we call
development meeting, its the same meeting of the
previous, same topic, but its developmental work
Participants Learning
But its the soft issues that are the most
important ..a form might not be the right thing
  • Method of evaluation
  • Interviews with teachers
  • Documentary evidence
  • Interim observation
  • Informal Discussion
  • Reflective logs
  • PM
  • Tests of knowledge
  • Rating own learning
  • Questionnaires

You have to kind of have a feel about and pick
up things through the leadership team as well.
but the professional development part of the
performance management cycle means that you can
say How did that CPD affect you in the long
Organisational Support and Change
I mean its not just CPD, its the whole
culture really
I think they feel they are working in a school
thats giving them a lot. I think they feel they
are working in a school where it is a
professional organisation
  • Method of evaluation
  • Attainment of SIP targets
  • Retention of staff
  • External recognition (IIP, excellent school list,
  • Retention of staff in profession
  • Observation (Shadowing)
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires

The benefit for us is .. people to move on, fine
we know that weve sent someone from here with
the right tools to grow in their job and know how
to run a department and spend the rest of their
time developing it.
Participants Use of New Knowledge and Skills
They put in a sheet prior to the event... so
then when they come for their reviews we say,
Right, you went on such and such, have you felt
its been useful for you in the classroom?
as part of performance review, they do a
questionnaire on-line with their pupils. So they
get feedback, we get the feedback into the whole
system from pupils.
  • Method of evaluation
  • Discussion
  • Documentary evidence
  • Return to happy sheet
  • Interviews with students
  • Interviews with teachers
  • Reflective logs
  • Observation
  • PM
  • Questionnaires

We ran inset I did follow-up observations to
see if they were employing the strategies
Student Learning Outcomes
If youre developing the teachers professionally
its of benefit to the school and its of benefit
to the children.
We have conferences with our students twice a
year to talk about the teaching...
  • Method of evaluation
  • Interview
  • Sats/GCSE/A/AS
  • Scrutiny of work
  • Discussion
  • Immediate work
  • Term/year evaluations/tests
  • Pupil self assessment
  • Performance assessment
  • Portfolio assessment

I wanted to see if the children were employing
the strategies that the teachers had learned
when I went through the answers the children were
employing the strategies Id wanted the teachers
to be teaching.
Part 3
  • Leadership Support

CPD Management Roles
CPD Leadership Roles
Evaluation Methods
Factors influencing school capacity and student
Student Achievement
Instructional Quality Curriculum, Instruction,
School Capacity Teachers Knowledge, Skills,
Dispositions Professional Community - shared
purpose, collaboration, reflective enquiry,
influence Program Coherence
Policy and Programs on PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT by the School District State Independ
ent Organisations