You are here

Building and Connecting Learning Communities

Building and Connecting Learning Communities
The Power of Networks for School Improvement

Edited by:
  • Steven Katz - Director, Aporia Consulting Ltd. and Faculty Member, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto
  • Lorna M. Earl - University of Toronto, Canada
  • Sonia Ben Jaafar - Assistant to the Researcher in Residence, Ontario Ministry of Education, Ontario Ministry of Education

November 2009 | 136 pages | Corwin
Ideal for school leaders, teacher leaders, and superintendents leading district-level change, this book describes how separate professional learning communities can be purposefully linked across schools to create effective Networked Learning Communities (NLCs). Steven Katz, Lorna M. Earl, and Sonia Ben Jaafar demonstrate how NLCs can effectively engage schools in creating and sharing professional knowledge and develop the kind of deep and sustained changes that enhance student learning, engagement, and success.Based on the authorsÆ research and work with districts and schools in North America and England, the book defines NLCs, explains how they work, and leads readers in examining:The importance of having a clear, evidence-based focusCollaborative inquiry as a process that challenges thinking and practice and generates new learning for teachersThe role of formal and informal leaders in both professional learning communities and networked learning communitiesBuilding and Connecting Learning Communities demonstrates how to work together to create the conditions for focused professional learning for teachers and tackles the challenge of how to sustain the work of NLCs.
About the Authors
1. Why Networks? Why Now?
It’s About Learning

Networks: A Powerful Organizational Tool

Time for Reflection

2. How Networked Learning Communities Work
What Are Networked Learning Communities?

How NLCs Work: The Theory of Action

Using NLCs to Focus Local PLCs

The Anatomy of a NLC: A Refined Theory of Action

Time for Reflection

3. Establishing a Clear and Defensible Focus
Focus Foremost

Evidence-Based Focus

From a School Focus to a Network Focus

Time for Reflection

4. Collaborative Inquiry to Challenge Thinking and Practice
The Importance of Relationships

From Inquiry to an Inquiry Habit of Mind

From Relationships to Deep Collaboration

Getting to Powerful Collaborative Inquiry

Time for Reflection

5. Leadership in Networked Professional Learning Communities
Roles of Formal Leaders

Roles of Informal Leaders

Time for Reflection

6. From Student Learning to Teacher Learning
Towards Focused Collaborative Inquiry

Collaborative Inquiry for Teacher Leaders

Within-School Focused Professional Learning: Collaborative Inquiry for Teachers

Time for Reflection

7. Using the Network to Support Professional Learning for Leaders
Collaborative Inquiry and Focused Learning for Leaders

Using Critical Friends to Promote Inquiry and Focus Efforts

From Collaborative Inquiry to Instructional Leadership Actions

Time for Reflection

8. Sustaining Networked Learning Communities
Sustaining Collective Understanding

Sustaining Professional Learning

Sustaining and Broadening Leadership

Sustaining Powerful Networked Learning Communities

Time for Reflection


"Taking your school from great to greater—to get there, this compelling book gives you tools to use with staff for reflecting on and refining your professional practices. It provides you and your team with effective options for taking learners to the next level of improvement."

Lynn A. Kaszynski, Principal
Harrison Street Elementary School, Sunbury, OH

Used the following text:
Davis, J. A. (1985). The logic of causal order. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Dr Tirupalavanam Ganesh
School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, Arizona State University - Tempe
September 26, 2011

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412966016
ISBN: 9781412966009

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.