Learning communities for curriculum change: key factors in an educational change process in New Zealand
Edwards, F. (2011). Learning communities for curriculum change: key factors in an educational change process in New Zealand. Professional Development in Education, published online 25 July 2011.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5722
Increasingly school change processes are being facilitated through the formation and operation of groups of teachers working together for improved student outcomes. These groupings are variously referred to as networks, networked learning communities, communities of practice, professional learning communities, learning circles or clusters. The formation and support of these types of groups to build capacity has been a major feature in the professional support landscape for New Zealand schools for a number of years, with sustainability and longevity of these groups seen as success criteria. A professional learning community approach was adopted by the New Zealand Ministry of Education to help schools implement the revised New Zealand Curriculum by facilitating the development of community members’ capacities and expertise in school curriculum design. In this article I report on my experience as the facilitator of one professional learning community of nine schools that worked together over a two-year period. Three significant phases in the life of this community are identified and illustrated: establishing, converging, and diverging. I contend that sustainability and longevity are not necessarily key determinants of a community’s success, but that success can be attained through the community’s ability to flexibly achieve its purposes and prepare for future change.
Taylor & Francis
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