From The Editor

By Learning Forward
June 2012
Vol. 33 No. 3
Learning communities are moving beyond their adolescent years, and you can see their evolution in education literature, in practice, and in the Standards for Professional Learning. The earlier Standards for Staff Development (NSDC, 2001) included Collaboration and Learning Communities. Both emphasized the process and structure of learning collaboratively. For example, the 2001 Learning Communities standard stated, “Staff development that improves the learning of all students organizes adults into learning communities whose goals are aligned with those of the school and district” (NSDC, 2001). The 2011 version states, “Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment” (Learning Forward, 2011). And yet, even as schools and teams move to enact learning

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Tracy Crow

Tracy Crow ( is director of publications for Learning Forward.


Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

NSDC. (2001). NSDC’s Standards for Staff Development. Oxford, OH: Author.

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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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