EDU 675 Week 1 Assignment, Professional Development and Research.docx

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Running head: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH 1 Professional Development and Research Name EDU 675: Change for Leadership for Differentiated Educ. Envmnt. March, 2013
Professional Development 2 Teacher researchers in a Professional Development School context identify two important shifts in traditional school cultures in order for teacher inquiry to thrive as a means for teacher development: a shift to community and a shift to uncertainty. PDS teachers in this study spoke about their need for supportive learning communities where they may collaborate and engage in dialogue with colleagues and other professionals. Professional learning communities created opportunities for dialogue which also made it safe to ask questions and work in a community where uncertainty was not only valued, but supported. Professional learning communities for teacher development also need to be analyzed for insights they bring to teacher education, professional development, and educational change. Recognizing and understanding tensions in collaboration and dialogue and their connected shifts to community and uncertainty could enhance learning opportunities for teachers as well as the life of a teacher with an inquiry stance ( Snow-Gerono, J.L. 2005). Never before has there been such widespread agreement among researchers and practitioners regarding the most promising approach to significantly improve schools. Researchers, writers, and educational organizations have all endorsed the concept of schools functioning as professional learning communities. At the same time, the concept will have little impact on schools unless professional learning community practices become embedded into day-to-day school culture. If professional learning communities offer the best hope for school improvement, a critical question facing educators is this: How can we develop school cultures that reflect the ideals and practices of professional learning communities? The authors have found that collaboratively developed shared values and commitments can be a powerful tool for shaping school culture. In this article, the authors discuss the significance of establishing explicit shared commitments as one of the most effective tools to those seeking to

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