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On Common Ground: The Power of Professional Learning Communities

By Richard DuFour, Robert Eaker, and Rebecca DuFour
This book provides educators a valuable tool to help them improve their schools.

- Embrace learning rather than teaching as their school's mission
- Work collaboratively to help all students learn
- Use formative assessments and a focus on results to foster continuous improvement
- Assume individual responsibility to take steps to create such schools

Each chapter is by different educational leaders where they show varying perspectives on how professional learning communities can improve education. Other authors include: Roland Barth, Barbara Eason-Watkins, Michael Fullan, Lawrence Lezotte, Douglas Reeves, Jonathon Saphier, Mike Schmoker, Dennis Sparks, and Rick Stiggins.

ISBN# 1-932127-42-9
Published by Solution Tree in 2005


• Click here to purchase this book
Curriculum Information For Resource

Snapshot
Grade Level(s):University
Curriculum Areas:
Themes/Keywords: Collaborative Cultures
Continuous Improvement
Professional Learning Communities
Shared Vision
Teachable Point of View


Essential Question(s)
1. What is a professional learning community?

Discussion Question(s)
1. How do you help students achieve at higher levels?
2. What happens when teams of teachers collaboratively focus on the right issues?
3. How do you balance assessment of learning with assessment for learning?

Extension and Activities
1. Focus on learning instead of teaching.
2. Model lifelong learning - as Gandhi said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." p. 120.
3. Build a staff of lifelong learners.
4. Examine student work by gather three pieces of student examples, cut off the name of the student, teacher, etc. and ask "What do you think? What do you notice?" about each of these examples.


"I used My eCoach for a few years as my classroom website and for surveys and quizzes.

Two years ago, the district asked us to learn to use moodle because it is linked to student's grades, etc... At first, the moodle class page was separate, but needed to be accessed by student username and password. Many students forgot passwords or changed them or couldn't get on because of other reasons. This year there is a link within the students portal site to a moodle classroom page. (They still need their username and password.) This link was not to the webpage I had made earlier, but to a new one. I switched all the information over to the new because I was told the parents would be able to access it from their portal site, also. This was not true. I then switched back to My eCoach and found it so easy to use!

The parents and students both can keep up with assignments because they do not need to remember passwords! This past week, I put together an online test in portal-moodle because I was told it would grade the test and link the grade to my gradebook. What a disaster! The transferred grade was not correct and I am dealing with many e-mails from students who could not submit their finished tests. I believe I will try the on-line quiz in My eCoach next time and just copy over the grade.

I am still only using a small portion of what is available in ecoach, but am looking forward to trying all the new things that Barbara and her team have developed over the past year or so."



pictureSusan Brown
High School Science Teacher
Osceola High School - Pinellas, Florida






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