Redesign PD Community Resources are available to support and engage members within the community of practice, as well as those who are interested in learning more about the great strides the community has made thus far.

Community of Practice General Information
*Lessons from the Redesign PD Community of Practice Hirsh, S. (2016, December 22). [Web blog post].
The 22 districts within the Redesign Community of Practice participated in a “ruthless assessment” of their current state of professional learning. The findings led to the conclusion that three actions can be taken immediately to increase your state of professional learning within your system: study communities of practice to learn what makes them unique, don’t skip the learning, and enroll in a community of practice. 

*Instructional rounds contribute to communities of practice. Killion, J. (2016, December). JSD, 37(6), 56-58.
Instructional rounds are a form of routines among educators that establish social networks within communities of practice to build a districtwide instruction-based focus. This spotlights the necessity for districtwide coordination and focuses on high priority outcomes.

*Learning Forward launches community of practice. Learning Forward. (2016, June.) JSD, 37(3), 60.
The Redesign PD Community of Practice supports 20 of the nation’s leading school districts and charter management organizations. District teams engage in continuous improvement cycles to propel rapid learning and improvement while they serve as critical friends to one another, share expertise and demand accountability.

*Redesign PD Community of Practice: Lessons learned from the first 6 months of Learning Forward’s 18-month, 22-district initiative. Learning Forward. (2016, December). JSD, 37(6), 8-9.
One year into the work of Learning Forward’s Redesign PD Community of Practice, the community has since grown to 22 districts and is continuing to engage teams in identifying their professional learning challenges. The system selects one of two problems of practice: measuring impact, or ensuring coherence and relevance.

*denotes Learning Forward resource

Coherence & Relevance


Coherence: The right drivers in action for schools, districts, and systems. Fullan, M. & Quinn, J. (2016).
All systems cited in this book use coherence making strategies as the route to success. This book shows that most people would rather be challenged by change and helped to progress than be mired in frustration.

Crafting coherence: How schools strategically manage multiple, external demands. Honig, M.I. & Hatch, T.C. (2004). Educational Researcher, 33(8), 16-30.
Coherence is defined as a process, which involves schools and school district central offices working together to craft or continually negotiate the fit between external demands and schools’ own goals and strategies. This article aims to define that strict policy coherence is not a inherently positive or negative state of affairs.

*Goals: Coherence and relevance: 3 districts focus on quality of professional learning. Jacobson, L. (2016, December). JSD, 37(6), 16-17, 21.
Loudon County, Shelby County, and Bridgeport Public Schools work on building a system of professional development that is coherent and relevant to teachers. After seeking input from an array of educators, the teams are able to streamline professional learning to make it better fit the needs of their systems, teachers, and students.

*denotes Learning Forward resource



Continuing challenges and potential for collaborative approaches to education reform. Bodilly, S. J., Karam, R., & Orr, N. (2011). Santa Monica, CA: RAND. 
The Ford Foundation developed a program called the Collaborating for Education Reform Initiative (CERI) that provided grants to collaboratives of community-based organizations in urban settings as a way to address systemic barriers to high-quality teaching and learning. Eight groups signed on, the RAND Corporation assessed the progress over four years. While none had reached the final outcomes desired, some offered considerable promise.

Learning to improve: How America's schools can get better at getting better. Bryk, A.S., Gomez, L.M., Grunow, A., & LeMahieu, P.G. (2015). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Organized around six core principles, the book shows how “networked improvement communities” can bring together researchers and practitioners to accelerate learning in key areas of education. Examples include efforts to address the high rates of failure among students in community college remedial math courses and strategies for improving feedback to novice teachers.

Community of practice design guide: A step-by-step guide for designing & cultivating communities of practice in higher education. Cambridge, D., Kaplan, S., & Suter, V. (2005). 
A community of practice is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals. This guide was developed based on the shared experiences of several organizations working together in ways that embody the spirit of collaboration.

*6 key features of a successful community of practice. 12-14. King, M (2016, December).
JSD, 37(6).
Successful communities, within our PD Redesign community of practice have six specific characteristics to allow the experience to be rewarding for members, students, and the field of education. Clear focus on the problem of practice, active learning, collective ownership, appropriate mix of perspectives, commitment to support implementation, effective structure of decision making.

Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Wenger, E., McDermott, R.A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
Written by leading experts in the field, Cultivating Communities of Practice is the first book to outline models and methods for systematically developing these essential groups. The authors show how world-class organizations have leveraged communities of practice to drive strategy, generate new business opportunities, solve problems, transfer best practices, develop employees' professional skills, and recruit and retain top talent.

*denotes Learning Forward resource

Evaluations & Research


*Looking outside education: What school leaders can learn about professional learning from other industries. Matlach, L.K. & Poda, J. (2016, March). Washington, DC: Center on Great Teachers & Leaders and Learning Forward.
The education field continues to push beyond providing traditional “sit-and-get” professional learning opportunities. This brief shares eight approaches to professional learning and growth from other industries that school and district leaders can leverage, and identifies which ones state leaders can support and encourage.


Community of practice behaviors and individual learning outcomes. Neufeld, D., Fang, Y., & Wan Z. (2012, 19 February.)
This paper offers a fresh research model that identifies three practice-based concepts described in the CoP literature—shared repertoire, joint enterprise, and mutual engagement—and links them to individual learning outcomes.

Collaborative evaluation within a framework of stakeholder-oriented evaluation approaches. O'Sullivan, R.G. (2012, November). Evaluation and Program Planning35(4), 518-522.
Collaborative Evaluation assumes that active, on-going engagement between evaluators and program staff, result in stronger evaluation designs, enhanced data collection and analysis, and results that stakeholder understand and use. Collaborative Evaluation distinguishes itself in that it uses a sliding scale for levels of collaboration. This means that different program evaluations will experience different levels of collaborative activity.

Advances in collaborative evaluation. Rodríguez-Campos, L. (2012, November). Evaluation and Program Planning, 35(4), 523-528.
In the last decade, collaborative evaluation has grown in popularity along with similar participatory, empowerment, and utilization-focused evaluation approaches.  This article updates those conceptual frameworks and discusses key collaborative evaluation advances in order to further clarify and facilitate engagement in sound practice.

A framework for the initiation of networked improvement communities. Russell, J.J., Bryk, A.S., Dolle, J., Gomez, L.M., LeMahieu, P., & Grunow, A. (2017). 
Teachers College Record, (119)6. 1-51.
This paper explores the initiation of a social structure to organize collaborative improvement work: the networked improvement community (or NIC). NICs are highly structured, intentionally formed collaborations among education professionals, researchers, and designers that aim to address a high leverage practical problem.

Innovative learning network puts schools under watchful eye of Melbourne Uni researchers. Villella, F. (2016, January 31). The Sydney Morning Herald.
A schools learning network overseen by the University of Melbourne’s education researchers is producing improved results for students. A diverse collection of schools successfully work together to solve common problems.

*denotes Learning Forward resource

Measuring Impact


Evaluating professional development. Guskey, T. (2000)Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
The most worthwhile changes in education require time for adaptation, adjustment, and refinement. Therefore, we must be willing to extend support and procedures for gathering evaluation information over longer periods of time.

*Taking a measure of impact: 2 Colorado districts calibrate the effects of high-quality professional learning. Jacobson, L. (2016, December). JSD, 37(6), 18-20.
Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County both calibrate the effects of high quality professional learning. Denver is training in early literacy for 2,000 teachers with Common Core resources. Jefferson County is giving the teachers flexibility to choose the resources that meet their needs to improve their practice. The positive changes are being felt both in the classroom and at a district level.

*Assessing impact: Evaluating staff development. Killion, J. (2008). (2nd ed.).Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Effective program evaluations can improve staff development programs and increase student achievement. Learn how to assess a program's evaluability, formulate evaluation questions, and collect and interpret data.

*Assessing the impact of professional development
 Killion, J. (n.d.). [Webinar]

Make evaluation count: To assess impact, know what to measure. JSD, 36(6), 42-45. Pendray, A. & Crockett, J. (2016, December).
Two things were realized while systems began to identify gaps between professional development and student learning outcomes. First, there needed to be a formal way to measure the complex thinking. Second, once measured the information would need to be evaluated.

*denotes Learning Forward resource

Contact Us For More Information