Connect The Dots

By Learning Forward
April 2012
Vol. 33 No. 2
Establishing school-based professional learning appears so simple and straightforward during inspiring presentations at summer workshops, but keeping collaborative work focused on teaching and learning in such a way that it produces consistent results is a highly underestimated task. Investigations and experience from a group of researchers at the University of California Los Angeles and Stanford University suggest that the likelihood of maintaining such focus and coherence might be significantly increased when there is a clear system of dedicated settings and assistance for each level of leadership and learning — teacher teams, teacher leaders, and administrators. Over the last two decades, the research team studied and refined an instructional improvement model that demonstrated significant gains in student achievement in some of the nation’s most challenged districts,

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Bradley A. Ermeling

Bradley A. Ermeling ( is senior research associate at Pearson Learning Teams in Santa Monica, Calif., and member of a research team from UCLA and Stanford.



Ermeling, B. (2010). Tracing the effects of teacher inquiry on classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(3), 377-388.

Gallimore, R., Ermeling, B.A., Saunders, W.M., & Goldenberg, C. (2009). Moving the learning of teaching closer to practice: Teacher education implications of school-based inquiry teams. Elementary School Journal, 109(5), 537-553.

Goldenberg, C. (2004). Successful school change: Creating settings to improve teaching and learning. New York: Teachers College Press.

Graff-Ermeling, G. (2007). Building coherence: The role of an externally supported, site-based leadership team, in sustaining settings for instructional improvement. Santa Monica, CA: LessonLab Research Institute.

Saunders, W. & Goldenberg, C. (2005). The contribution of settings to school improvement and school change: A case study. In C. O’Donnell & L. Yamauchi (Eds.), Culture and context in human behavior change: Theory, research, and applications (pp. 127-150). New York: Peter Lang.

Saunders, W.M., Goldenberg, C.N., & Gallimore, R. (2009). Increasing achievement by focusing grade-level teams on improving classroom learning: A prospective, quasi-experimental study of Title I schools. American Educational Research Journal, 46(4), 1006-1033.

Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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