At the beginning of the year, a colleague handed me an article from the National Forum of Educational Administration & Supervision titled “The Power of Professional Learning Communities.” I assumed that this was a redux of the DuFour article that we’re reading for this week, so I put off reading it. However, I suggest that any of us look into this article. Essentially, it’s the DuFour’s thesis in brief. And it points out one point that had escaped me in my reading of the assigned DuFour article.
A professional learning community is a group of educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research in order to achieve better results for the students they serve.
The collective inquiry bit I already caught on to. However, that some form of action research was necessary, while perhaps self-evident to some, had not occurred to me. What type of action research should I be involved in then? Faculty attitudes toward technology? The ways in which technology is used in class and in the lab? Outcomes of such technology use? I assume that the answers are “sure, sure, and sure.”
In receiving feedback on my learning contract, a colleague noted that the “evidence of outcomes” regarding my own teaching will be “what are the students learning?” What, then, is the evidence regarding information gained from teacher use of technology? What “outcome” can I look for to determine that my practices as “technology standard bearer for the FL department” are effective?
There are a number of excellent points made by the DuFour’s in this article. I hope to post it to the wiki tomorrow and comment on them there.