• Cultural Shifts in a Professional Learning Community


    A Shift in Fundamental Purpose


    From  a focus  on teaching- to a focus  on learning


    From  emphasis on what was  taught-to a fixation on what students learned


    From  coverage of content - to demonstration of proficiency


    From  providing individual teachers  with curriculum documents such  as  state standards and  curriculum guides - to engaging collaborative teams in building shared knowledge regarding essential curriculum


    A Shift in Use  of Assessments


    From  infrequent summative assessments - to frequent common formative assessment


    From  assessments to determine which students failed to learn by the deadline - to assessments to identify students who need additional time and  support


    From  assessments used to reward and punish students - to assessments used to inform  and  motivate students


    From  assessing many  things infrequently - to assessing a few things frequently


    From  individual teacher assessments - to assessments developed jointly by 

    collaborative teams


    From  each  teacher determining the criteria to be  used in assessing student work - 

    to collaborative teams clarifying  the criteria and  ensuring consistency among team members when  

    assessing student work


    From  an  over-reliance on one  kind  of assessment -to balanced assessments

    From  focusing  on average scores-  to monitoring each  student’s proficiency in every  essential skill


    A Shift  in the  Response When  Students Don’t  Learn


    From  individual teachers  determining the appropriate response - to a systematic response that ensures support for every  student


    From  fixed  time and  support for learning- to time and  support for learning as variables


    From  remediation-  to intervention


    From  invitational support outside of the school  day - to directed (that is, required) support occurring during the school  day


    From  one  opportunity to demonstrate learning -to multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning


    Cultural Shifts in a Professional Learning  Community


    A Shift  in the  Work of Teachers


    From  isolation . . .  to collaboration


    From  each  teacher clarifying  what students must learn . . .

    to collaborative teams building shared knowledge and  understanding about essential learning


    From  each  teacher assigning priority to different learning standards . . .

    .to collaborative teams establishing the priority of respective learning standards


    From  each  teacher determining the pacing of the curriculum . .

    to collaborative teams of teachers agreeing on common pacing


    From  individual teachers  attempting to discover ways  to improve results . . .

    to collaborative teams of teachers helping each  other improve


    From  privatization of practice . . .    to open sharing of practice


    From  decisions made on the basis of individual preferences . . .

    to decisions made collectively by building shared knowledge of best practice


    From  “collaboration lite” on matters unrelated to student achievement . . .to collaboration explicitly focused on issues and  questions that most impact student achievement


    From  an  assumption that these are  “my kids,  those are  your  kids”. . .to an  assumption that these are  “our kids”


    A Shift  in Focus


    From  an  external focus  on issues outside of the school  . . .to an  internal focus  on steps the staff can take to improve the school


    From  a focus  on inputs . . .  to a focus  on results


    From  goals  related to completion of project and  activities . . .to SMART goals  demanding evidence of student learning



    From  teachers gathering data from  their individually constructed  tests  in order to assign 

    grades . . .to collaborative teams acquiring information from  common assessments in order to

    (1) inform  their individual and  collective practice and  (2) respond to students who need 

    additional time and  support


    A Shift  in School  Culture


    From  independence ... to interdependence


    From  a language of complaint ...  to a language of commitment


    From  long-term strategic planning...to planning for short-term wins


    From  infrequent generic recognition...to frequent specific  recognition and  a culture of celebration that creates many  winners


    A Shift  in Professional Development


    From  external training (workshops and courses)...to job-embedded learning


    From  the expectation that learning occurs infrequently (on the few days  devoted to professional 

    development...to an  expectation that learning is ongoing and  occurs as  part of routine work  practice


    From  presentations to entire faculties... to team-based action research


    From  learning by listening... to learning by doing


    From  learning individually through courses and  workshops...to learning collectively by working  together


    From  assessing impact on the basis of teacher satisfaction (“did you like it?”)...to assessing impact on the basis of evidence of improved student learning


    From  short-term exposure to multiple concepts and  practices...to sustained commitment to limited focused initiatives