Building community in a divided world

February 2022

Collaboration and trust are essential to high-quality professional learning, so what happens when schools are mired in political and ideological tensions? This issue examines how to bridge divides and build community so all students can thrive.


The Learning Professional

Published Date

In This Issue


Professional learning can lead us to common ground

How do we learn from one another when we’re fractured by political and ideological division?

How to achieve collective efficacy in a time of division

A protocol helps school leaders avoid the pitfalls that can derail collaborative work.

Communities of practice empower teachers to tackle thorny problems 

How one district addressed problems of practice through collaborative research.

Should groups set their own norms? Maybe not

Collaborative norm-setting may not represent all voices.

In times of division, strategic communication matters

Four communications principles can help educators navigate challenging waters.

Asking good questions is a leader’s superpower

Six ways to elevate your listening skills and your effectiveness as a leader.

Building relationships, one practice at a time 

Intentional relationship practices cultivate a supportive community.

How coaches juggle it all

Coaches share strategies for thriving in stressful times.


Conversation starters help teachers get unstuck 

A tool for helping overwhelmed teachers, inspired by a webinar on coaching during COVID.

Through the lens

How this issue’s articles embody the Standards for Professional Learning.


Continuous improvement is a powerful engine for equity 

Improvement Methods for Equity offers lessons and resources for centering equity in systems change efforts.

International collaboration powers teachers’ STEM learning 

American and Pakistani educators learned together about designing professional learning and engaging students in STEM.

How a cultural lens can help teachers disrupt inequity 

The cultural inquiry process is a tool for critical reflection and equity-oriented action.


Evaluation shows the impact of a professional learning network

A Learning Forward network contributed to improved professional learning, teacher engagement, and curriculum implementation.

Data points 

The latest research on teacher evaluation reform, teacher attrition, virtual learning, and more.


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