The Strategic Teacher:
Harvey F. Silver, Richard W. Strong, and Matthew J. Perini
Grades K-12 $27.95
In his fifteen years of research into how effective organizations and schools refine practices, unlock collective and personal potential, and sustain change over time, Peter Senge introduced the powerful concept of the “learning organization.”
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Continuous Improvement Through Continuous Learning
Learning organizations, or professional learning communities as they are often called in school settings, insist that no teacher and no administrator is alone when it comes to raising achievement. At the center of a successful professional learning community are Learning Clubs.
In Learning Clubs, team of 4-6 teachers work together to plan, implement, and evaluate lessons to make a difference in student learning. Typically, a Learning Club session focuses on a single research-based strategy such as Compare and Contrast, or an agreed-upon core skill such as mastering vocabulary that the Learning Club members want to develop in their students.
“The idea of a Learning Club,” says Joyce Jackson, a teacher of 30 years who works with Kentucky's Division of School Improvement, “is that responsibility for learning and implementing new techniques is shared. Responsibility does not reside with a few dedicated teachers. Nor does it reside with a tenacious administrator. And responsibility certainly doesn't reside with a trainer or coach in monthly or bi-monthly visits. It resides with everyone. By emphasizing shared responsibility and regular meetings, Learning Clubs create a powerful support group that allows teachers to test and refine their work in integrating the best research-based techniques into their classroom practice.”
When put into building-wide practice, Learning Clubs
make a significant difference in schools. Teachers, administrators, and trainers commonly report benefits
- Greater use and variety of research-based strategies in classrooms.
- Significant gains in student achievement.
- Increased confidence and morale among the faculty, leading to collective action toward school improvement.