Issues About Change, Vol. 6, No. 2: Creating a Professional Learning Community: Cottonwood Creek School

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Authors: Shirley M. Hord, William L. Rutherford

Product ID: CHA-36 Price: Available free online
• Published: 1998    • 8 pages   

Available online: Full text, PDF

Much of the current literature on school reform extols the importance of school staffs working collegially to increase successful results for students. In a previous Issues paper, "Professional Learning Communities: What Are They and Why Are They Important?" (Hord, 1997b), the defining characteristics of school staffs operating as a collaborative community of professional learners were described. In addition, and of obvious importance, the gains for staff and students when staffs engage as communities of inquiry and improvement were articulated.

Not included in the literature and the paper noted above, however, were strategies or approaches whereby a school staff might develop into such a collegial organization. Staff of the Strategies for Increasing School Success Program (SISS) at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) have undertaken efforts to find, study, and report real-life examples of school staffs that have been transformed into these communities. Such is the case with Cottonwood Creek High School.

This publication is one of a series of briefing papers called Issues About Change.

SEDL has published several publications about Professional Learning Communities: