Assessing a School Staff as a Community of Professional Learners: Issues About Change, Volume 7, Number 1

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Authors: Shirley M. Hord, Dr. Merrill L. Meehan, Sandra Orletsky, Beth Sattes

Product ID: CHA-37 Price: Available free online
• Published: 1999    • 8 pages   

Available online: Full text, PDF

SEDL invests staff and resources in studying and supporting schools in their efforts to improve their effectiveness so that students might become more successful learners. This work focuses on creating and nurturing the kind of workplace and culture in schools where students and learning are the undeviating focus and the staff worked collegially to achieve the desired results. This paper discusses how to use an instrument to assess how well a school staff functions as a team, as determined in five major areas:
  1. the collegial and facilitative participation of the principal, who shares leadership (and power and authority) and decision making with the staff (with two descriptors);
  2. a shared vision that is developed from the staff's unswerving commitment to students' learning and that is consistently articulated and referenced for the staff's work (with three descriptors);
  3. learning that is done collectively to create solutions that address students' needs (with five descriptors);
  4. the visitation and review of each teacher's classroom practices by peers as a feedback and assistance activity to support individual and community improvement (with two descriptors); and
  5. physical conditions and human capacities that support such an operation (with five descriptors).

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

SEDL has published several publications about Professional Learning Communities: