Laying the Foundation of a Professional Learning Community


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Laying the Foundation of a Professional Learning Community

  1. 1. From Good to Great:Laying the Foundation of a Professional Learning Community Wali Memon1 Wali Memon
  2. 2. The Power of Professional Learning Communities The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a professional learning community. The path to change in the classroom lies within and through professional learning communities.2 Wali Memon
  3. 3. Teaching versus Learning Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be king. Dying, he gasped out, “Tee hee, Brutus.” He remains dead to this day.3 Wali Memon
  4. 4. Teaching versus Learning The greatest writer of the Renaissance we William Shakespeare. He was born in 1564, supposedly on birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter.4 Wali Memon
  5. 5. Teaching versus Learning Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.5 Wali Memon
  6. 6. Teaching versus Learning Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.6 Wali Memon
  7. 7. Teaching versus Learning It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Guttenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh invented cigarettes and started smoking. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.7 Wali Memon
  8. 8. Teaching versus Learning Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.8 Wali Memon
  9. 9. Fundamental Assumptions We can make a difference: Our schools can be more effective. People improvement is the key to school improvement. Significant school improvement will impact teaching and learning.9 Wali Memon
  10. 10. Need for a Professional Learning Community Throughout our ten-year study, whenever we found an effective school or an effective department within a school, without exception that school or department has been a part of a collaborative professional learning community. Milbrey McLaughlin10 Wali Memon
  11. 11. Characteristics of a Professional Learning Community Shared mission, vision, values, goals Collaborative teams Collective inquiry Action orientation/experimentation Commitment to continuous improvement Results orientation11 Wali Memon
  12. 12. We KNOW Students Achieve at Higher Levels When We… Define our purpose as ensuring all students will learn, rather than as student will be taught We work together collaboratively rather than in isolation. Create systematic interventions that give students extra time and support for learning. Build continuous improvement processes into routine team practices. Create a results oriented culture by gathering frequent formative and summative assessment data.12 Wali Memon
  13. 13. The Knowing-Doing Gap One of the great mysteries in organizational management is the disconnect between knowledge and action. Why does knowledge of what needs to be done so frequently fail to result in action or behavior consistent with that knowledge? Jeffrey Pfeffer & Robert Sutton13 Wali Memon
  14. 14. Moving Along the Continuum.. Time - We just don’t have time…. Perspective - Are we focused on teaching or are we focused on LEARNING? Priorities14 Wali Memon
  15. 15. First Step in Improving Results The first question in increasing productivity has to be, “What is our purpose?” “What is the task we are to accomplish?” Peter Drucker15 Wali Memon
  16. 16. Mission Statement Mission answers the question: Why do we exist?16 Wali Memon
  17. 17. The Universal Mission Statement To teach each and every child to realize his or her full potential and become a responsible and productive citizen, and a lifelong learner, who is able to use technology effectively and appreciate the multi-cultural society in which we live as we prepare for the global challenges of the 21st century.17 Wali Memon
  18. 18. Traditional School v. Learning Community: Mission Statements clarify what students will learn Statements are generic Statements address the question, “How will we Statements are brief; such as know what students are “We believe all kids can learn” learning?” or “Success for every student.” Statements clarify how the school will respond when students do not learn.18 Wali Memon
  19. 19. Critical Corollary Questions If we believe that all kids can learn What is it we expect them to learn? How will we know when they have learned it? How will we respond when they don’t learn?19 Wali Memon
  20. 20. A Powerful Guiding Principle Great organizations simplify a complex world into a single organizing idea or guiding principle. This guiding principle makes the complex simple, helps focus the attention and energy of the organization on the essentials, and becomes the frame of reference for all decisions. Jim Collins20 Wali Memon
  21. 21. Making the Complex Simple If we could truly establish high levels of learning for all students as the guiding principle of the school, and if we were willing to honestly confront the brutal facts of the current reality in our school, the right decisions about what to do and what to stop doing often become evident.21 Wali Memon
  22. 22. Addition by Subtraction The challenge of becoming a PLC demands more than adopting new programs and practices. We must also demonstrate the discipline to discontinue much of what we have done traditionally.22 Wali Memon
  23. 23. The Need to Stop Doing Most of us have an ever-expanding “to do” list, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing - and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built “good-to-great” organizations, however, made as much use of “stop doing”lists as “to do” lists. They had the discipline to stop doing all the extraneous junk. Jim Collins23 Wali Memon
  24. 24. Collaboration is one of the “Big Ideas” that drive a professional learning community We can achieve our fundamental purpose of high levels of learning for all students only if we work together. We cultivate this collaborative culture through the development of high performing teams.24 Wali Memon
  25. 25. Importance of Culture If you intend to introduce a change that is incompatable with the organization’s culture, you have only three choices: modify the change to be more in line with the existing culture, alter the culture to be in line with the proposed change, or prepare to fail. Salisbury & Conner25 Wali Memon
  26. 26. Creating a Collaborative Culture Improving schools require collaborative cultures….Without collaborative skills and relationships, it is not possible to learn and to continue to learn as much as you need to know to improve. Michael Fullan26 Wali Memon
  27. 27. Creating a Collaborative Culture If schools want to enhance their capacity to boost student learning, they should work on building a collaborative culture….When groups, rather than individuals, are seen as the main units for implementing curriculum, instruction, and assessment, they facilitate development of shared purposes for student learning and collective responsibility to achieve it. Fred Newmann27 Wali Memon
  28. 28. Creating a Collaborative Culture Creating a collaborative culture is the single most important factor for successful school improvement initiatives and the first order of business for those seeking to enhance the effectiveness of their schools. Eastwood and Lewis28 Wali Memon
  29. 29. “To Do” List “Stop Doing” List Create systems and procedures Stop allowing teachers to work in to develop the collective capacity isolation. of staff to work together interdependently as members of Stop settling for “collaboration collaborative teams. lite.” Stop focusing on congeniality more than collaboration…29 Wali Memon
  30. 30. What is congeniality? Avoiding the Mary Poppins Principle…. “Congeniality has to do with the extent to which teachers and principals share common work values, engage in specific conversation about their work, and help each other engage in the work of the school.” “ The emphasis on human relations management has resulted in the value of congeniality becoming very strong in the way schools are managed and led. Congeniality has to do with the climate of interpersonal relationships within an enterprise. When this climate is friendly, agreeable, and sympathetic, congeniality is high. Though congeniality is pleasant and often desirable, it is not independently linked to better performance and quality schooling.”30 Wali Memon Thomas Sergiovanni, 2004
  31. 31. What is Collaboration? A systematic process in which we work together interdependently to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results.31 Wali Memon
  32. 32. Avoiding the Three Deadly C’s of collaboration…. Choices Calendar Consequences32 Wali Memon
  33. 33. Keys to Effective Teams Collaboration embedded in routine practices Time for collaboration built in school day and school calendar Teams focus on key questions Products of collaboration are made explicit Team norms guide collaboration Teams pursue specific and measurable performance goals33 Teams have access to relevant information Wali Memon
  34. 34. The Biggest “BIG IDEA” of a PLC The guiding principle of a PLC is that the purpose of the school is to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Will focus the attention and energy of the entire school on learning. The frame of reference for all decisions will become, “what is the impact on learning?”34 Wali Memon
  35. 35. “To Do” List “Stop Doing” List Stop teaching much of what we are teaching. Clarify what each student must Stop pretending that the learn by course, grade level, and work of individual unit of instruction by engaging teachers is directed by all staff in an ongoing process to state standards and/or build shared knowledge of district curriculum “essential learnings.” guides.Recognize that the “intended” curriculum and the “implemented”35 Wali Memon curriculum are likely to be very different.
  36. 36. Lesson Study (Lewis & Tsuchida, 1997; Stigler & Hiebert, 1999; Stepanek, 2001) Japanese professional development experience embedded in the culture of continuous improvement Characterized by collaborative lesson planning, peer observation, peer review, and collaborative lesson modification.36 Wali Memon
  37. 37. Lesson Study … “entails a group of teachers working collaboratively to carefully craft a lesson….They will meet several times as a group to draft a plan for this lesson and ultimately one of the teachers in the group will teach the lesson with all other group members present in the classroom. The teachers will then reflect on lesson implementation and try out improvements by having a second group member teach a revised version of the lesson” (Yoshida, 1999).37 Wali Memon
  38. 38. Set Goal The Lesson Study Cycle Lesson Observe Teach &38 Wali Memon Adapted from Boss (2002)
  39. 39. Lesson Study Has a goal of student learning Makes use of teachers’ knowledge Encourages teacher collaboration Reflects the pedagogy of good instruction Supports the ongoing work of teachers Grounded in content Creates disequilibrium for teachers Is context dependent Is sustained and cohesive Meets all criteria for high-quality professional development39 Wali Memon
  40. 40. Critical Questions What do we want kids to learn? How do we know when they have learned it? How do we respond when they don’t?40 Wali Memon
  41. 41. The Power of Common Assessments One of the most powerful strategies for closing the knowing-doing gap and making progress as a learning school is to ensure that collaborative team develops frequent, timely, formative assessments.41 Wali Memon
  42. 42. Insist on Common Assessments Teachers of the same course or grade level should have absolute common agreement on what they expect all their kids to know and be able to do. Therefore, they should have common, collaboratively scored assessments… The classroom activities leading up to those assessments might differ. The need to administer the same assessment should not.42 Wali Memon
  43. 43. Assessment for Learning Assessment for Learning, when done well, is one of the most powerful, high-leverage strategies for improving student learning that we know of. Educators collectively become more skilled and focused at assessing, disaggregating, and using student achievement as a tool for ongoing improvement. Michael Fullan43 Wali Memon
  44. 44. “To Do” List “Stop Doing” List Focus on the learning of EACH individual student. Stop focusing on averages.44 Wali Memon
  45. 45. Interpreting Data Student Performance on the High-Stakes State Math Test: Mean 178 Median 177 Mode 180 Use the data presented above to answer the following question: To what extent is this45 school helping all students achieve at high Wali Memon levels in math?
  46. 46. Main Idea/ Detail Student # Homeroom Class # 4 1 70 2 70 3 80 4 80 5 100 6 40 7 70 8 50 9 80 10 70 11 50 12 50 13 100 14 100 15 10046 Wali Memon Avg. Score 74% # Proficient 7 (47%)
  47. 47. TotalSTUDENT Class #1 Class #2 Class #3 Class # 4 s 1 50 90 100 70 2 60 90 100 70 3 70 90 80 80 4 92 90 100 80 5 90 90 100 100 6 100 100 92 40 7 90 100 80 70 8 90 83 83 50 9 83 100 100 80 10 60 92 90 70 11 92 100 90 50 12 83 100 100 50 13 92 100 80 100 14 90 90 80 100 15 100 100 90 100 16 80 100 Wali Memon 80 47 17 90 92
  48. 48. Data is only information! So, when do teachers become interested in data? When: The results focus on the performance of their students, In meeting an agreed upon standard, On a valid assessment, In comparison to others.48 Wali Memon
  49. 49. BASRC FindingsThirty two matched pairs of schools 1. Frequent assessment of student progress, 2. Teachers learned how to analyze data, 3. Clear and focused goals around improving student achievement. Source: Bay Area School Reform Project, 2003 49 Wali Memon
  50. 50. BASRC FindingsHigh achieving schools Low achieving schools1. Never tested or tested only a few1. Never tested or tested only a few times a year - 36% times a year - 79%2. Tested a few times a month or as 2. Tested a few times a month or as often as weekly - 64% often as weekly - 21% 50 Wali Memon
  51. 51. Black and Williams “Inside the Black Box”Black & Wiliam (1998) International Research Review .5 to 1.0 Standard Deviation Score Gain Largest Gain for Low AchieversBloom (1984) Mastery Learning Research 1.0 Standard Deviation Gain Rivals Impact of One-on-One TutoringEffect of Reducing Class Size .2 Standard Deviation Gain 51 Wali Memon
  52. 52. More Recent Supporting ResearchMeisels, et al. (2003) Creating a system of accountability:The impact of instructional assessment on elementary childrens achievement test scores" .7 to 1.5 Standard Deviation Score GainRodriguez (2004) Role of Classroom Assessment in Student Performance on TIMSS52 .5 to 1.8 Standard Deviation Score Gain Wali Memon
  53. 53. 1.0 Standard Deviation? 30+ Percentile Points On ITBS (middle of score range) 4 Grade Equivalents 100 SAT Score Points 6 ACT Score Points Unprecedented Achievement Gains! 53 Wali Memon
  54. 54. Why Common Assessments Efficiency - by sharing the load teachers save time. Fairness - promotes common goals, similar pacing, and consistent standards for assessing student proficiency. Effective Monitoring - provides timely evidence of whether the guaranteed and viable curriculum is being taught and learned. Informs Individual Teacher Practice - provides teachers with a basis of comparison regarding the achievement of their students so they can see strengths and weaknesses of their teaching. Team Capacity - collaborative teacher teams are able to identify and address problem areas in their program. Collective Response - helps teams and the school create timely, systematic interventions for students.54 Wali Memon
  55. 55. “To Do” List “Stop Doing” List Make decisions on the basis Stop making decisions on the of their impact on student basis of their impact on adult learning. autonomy or convenience.55 Wali Memon
  56. 56. What Does a Grade Represent: Or a Rose by any Other Name Achievement of a Standard Comparison with other students Effort Improvement Participation Behavior Promptness56 Wali Memon
  57. 57. The Grading Dilemma “Amazingly, teachers regularly use and leaders frequently tolerate grading systems that may appear to be accurate but are devoid of even the most basic elements of mathematical reasoning and are neither fair nor effective.” Reeves, 200657 Wali Memon
  58. 58. The Grading Dilemma Imagine if school athletic teams attempted to engage in competitions where neither the coaches nor the officials had a consistent idea of the dimensions of the field or the rules of play. Howls would rise from the students, teachers, and parents about the unfairness of it all, just as they do every time an athletic official makes a ruling that differs from the judgment of the fans. But, these voices of protest are strangely silent when dramatic evidence of inconsistency is presented in the classroom. Reeves, 200658 Wali Memon
  59. 59. The Grading Dilemma “Simply put, letter grades do not reflect student achievement in an astounding number of cases.” When providing students with feedback… practitioners must take place within boundaries of fairness, mathematical accuracy, and effectiveness. Reeves, 200659 Wali Memon
  60. 60. The Missing Ingredient in Grading: The Truth The most common errors: Zeros Use of averages Grades as punishment60 Wali Memon
  61. 61. Find the Grade A 93-100 3.6-4.0 B 85-92 2.7-3.5 C 77-84 1.7-2.6 D 69-76 .7-1.6 F 0-68 0-.661 Wali Memon
  62. 62. FIND THE GRADE TEACHER 1 TEACHER 2 0 0 80 2 80 2 85 3 90 3 TOTAL 335 1062 Wali Memon
  63. 63. Find the Grade Teacher A 40 60 80 90 9063 Wali Memon
  64. 64. The Grading Dilemma Grading systems are only one of many ways in which teachers give feedback to students… Grades are certainly not the only focus of consideration in the professional practice surrounding feedback for better student performance. But from the point of view of students, grades are profoundly important…. When grading systems are mathematically flawed (as in the case of zeros and averages), unfair (as in the case of the same performance receiving dramatically different marks from different teachers), and ineffective (as in the case when grades are utterly unrelated to student achievement), then legitimate boundaries by leaders have been violated. - Reeves, 200664 Wali Memon
  65. 65. “To Do” List “Stop Doing” List Create systems to ensure students receive additional time and support when they Stop leaving it up to each teacher experience difficulty in to decide how to respond when mastering essential learnings. students don’t learn.65 Wali Memon
  66. 66. The School’s Response Increased levels of time and support when student is not being successful Response is timely and systematic Response is directive, not invitational66 Wali Memon
  67. 67. The Message from the School ….Learning is required. You can and will be successful here. You may not elect to fail. ….We want to connect with you through people who care about your - Good Friend, Advisor, Upperclassman Mentor, Counselor, SST’s, Guided Study monitors, co-curricular sponsors. We want you to be involved and successful.67 Wali Memon
  68. 68. AIM for Student Success Assessment Intervention Monitoring of students to strategies of interventions determine to address to measureindividual needs individual needs their success Wali Memon 68
  69. 69. AIM….. for Student Success Assessment Intervention Monitoring69 Wali Memon
  70. 70. Pyramid of Intervention Strategies Most Restrictive Least Restrictive70 Wali Memon
  71. 71. From Theory to Action: Closing The Knowing - Doing Gap Ten Barriers to Action: Substituting a decision for action Substituting mission for action Planning as a substitute for action Complexity as a barrier for action Mindless precedent as a barrier to action.71 Wali Memon
  72. 72. From Theory to Action: Closing The Knowing - Doing Gap Internal competition as a barrier to action Badly designed measurement systems as a barrier to action An external focus as a barrier to action. A focus on attitudes as a barrier to action. Training as a substitute for action72 Wali Memon
  73. 73. From Good to Great Greatness is not a matter of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. Jim Collins “Good to Great”73 Wali Memon
  74. 74. Why Greatness….? When all these pieces come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on earth has been well spent, and that it mattered. - Jim Collins74 Wali Memon