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Schoolwide Action Research for Professional Learning Communities

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures Foreword Preface About the Author 1. Introduction 2. A Schoolwide Approach to Action Research 3. Creating Learning Teams and Professional Learning Communities 4. Conducting Schoolwide Action Research 5. Putting Action Into Action Research: Improving Teacher Practice 6. Putting Action Into Action Research: Improving Student Learning 7. Supporting Schoolwide Action Research: The Principal's Role 8. Supporting Schools in Schoolwide Action Research 9. Taking Schoolwide Action Research to the Next Level Epilogue Resources References Index

About the Author

Learn more about Karl Clauset's PD offerings Karl H. Clauset is director of the National WFSG Center. He is an experienced school improvement coach and Whole-Faculty Study Group(R) trainer. Since 1999 he has helped more than ninety elementary, middle and high schools launch WFSG and has supported the schools through the implementation phase. He was the lead author, with Dale Lick and Carlene Murphy, for Schoolwide Action Research for Professional Learning Communities: Improving Student Learning Through the Whole-Faculty Study Groups Approach (Corwin Press, 2008), which focuses on the collaborative work teacher teams do to improve their teaching and increase student learning. He is also a senior consultant with Focus on Results and works with principals, school leadership teams, and central office staff to help them align and strengthen efforts to improve teaching and learning. Previously, he worked as a site developer with ATLAS Learning Communities, a nationally recognized school reform program, and in standards-based reform and international education development at the Education Development Center. In his earlier careers in education, he was a teacher and administrator at the Jakarta International School in Indonesia, and taught in secondary schools in Philadelphia, Zambia and Tanzania. He received a national award from ASCD for the outstanding dissertation in supervision for his doctoral dissertation on the dynamics of effective schooling. As a faculty member at the Boston University School of Education, he taught graduate courses in educational policy analysis, organizational analysis, and planning. Before moving to western Washington in 2003, he served as an elected school board member and board chair for six years in his Massachusetts community. Dale W. Lick is President and Professor Emeritus at Florida State University, a former President of Georgia Southern University, University of Maine, and Florida State University, and, most recently, a University Professor at Florida State University, where he did research in the Learning Systems Institute and taught and directed doctoral students in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and worked on educational and organizational projects involving transformational leadership, change creation, learning organizations, distance learning, school improvement, enhanced student performance, educational technology, new learning systems, strategic planning, and visioning. Included in over 50 national and international biographical listings, Dr. Lick is the author or co-author of eight books and more than 100 professional articles, chapters and proceedings, and 285 original newspaper columns. His recent books are: Whole-Faculty Study Groups: A Powerful Way to Change Schools and Enhance Learning, 1998; Whole-Faculty Study Groups: Creating Student-Based Professional Development, 2001; Whole-Faculty Study Groups: Creating Professional Learning Communities That Target Student Learning, 2005; and The Whole-Faculty Study Groups Fieldbook: Lessens Learned and Best Practices From Classrooms, Districts, and Schools, 2007, all with Carlene U. Murphy, Corwin Press; Schoolwide Action Research for Professional Learning Communities: Improving Student Learning Through The Whole-Faculty Study Groups Approach, 2008, and Schools Can Change: A Step-By-Step Change Creation System for Building Innovative Schools and Increasing Student Learning, 2012, with Karl H. Clauset and Carlene U. Murphy, Corwin Press; and New Directions in Mentoring: Creating a Culture of Synergy, 1999, with Carol A. Mullen, Falmer Press (London), 1999. Dr. Lick received B.S and M.S. degrees from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Riverside, all in Mathematics, and has three levels of certification in Leading and Managing Change from Conner Partners, Atlanta, GA. His alma maters have honored him with the Michigan State University 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award, and, on its 40th Anniversary in 1994, the University of California, Riverside, with the designation as One of 40 Alumni Who Make a Difference. Carlene U. Murphy is founder and executive director of the National WFSG Center and the principal developer of the Whole-Faculty Study Groups(R) system of professional development. In August 2007, she began her 50th year of work in public schools. She started her teaching career in 1957 as a fourth grade teacher in her hometown of Augusta, GA. The next year she moved to Memphis, TN where she taught for 13 years, returning to Augusta in 1972 and retiring from the district in 1993 as its director of staff development. During her 15 years as the district's chief staff developer, the district received many accolades, including the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Professional Development from the American Association of School Administrators and Georgia's Outstanding Staff Development Program Award for two consecutive years. She was awarded the National Staff Development Council's Contributions to Staff Development Award and served as the National Staff Development Council's chair of the annual national conference in Atlanta in 1986, president in 1988, and board member from 1984 to 1990. The friendships she formed and cemented during the over thirty years of her close relationship with NSDC were life-changing. After retiring from the Augusta, Georgia schools, she has worked with schools throughout the United States implementing Whole-Faculty Study Groups. She has written extensively about her work in Educational Leadership and Journal of Staff Development and has written with Dale Lick two other books about the WFSG system: Whole-Faculty Study Groups: Creating Professional Learning Communities That Target Student Learning, Corwin Press, 2005; and The Whole-Faculty Study Groups Fieldbook: Lessons Learned and Best Practices from Classrooms, Districts, and Schools (co-editor), 2007. Another book with Karl Clauset and Dale Lick, Schoolwide Action Research for Professional Learning Communities: Improving Student Learning Through the Whole-Faculty Study Groups Approach (Corwin Press, 2008), focuses on the work of study groups and gives descriptive data from schools implementing WFSG. She now lives on a small horse farm just outside of Augusta in a four generational home, which includes her husband, Joe, daughter, three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Even with all the activities in such a home, she still finds time to write about her work, correspond with colleagues and read about the latest developments in education.


"Imagine the impact when every teacher, principal, and central office administrator participates in a small group that focuses on increasing student achievement. The schoolwide action research program described in this book is not mere reform-results are nothing less than transformational." -- From the Foreword by Bert L'Homme "What a fantastic tool to ensure that districts will be successful in increasing student performance and implementing academic school improvement! The authors have used their understanding of the current issues in education to provide school districts with comprehensive guidelines that will guarantee success for schools involved in action research using data to improve student learning." -- Cinde Wendell, Superintendent "Clauset, Lick, and Murphy get to the heart of continuous improvement and closing the knowing-doing gap with this powerful tool." -- Susan Zook, Associate Superintendent "Whole-Faculty Study Groups (WFSGs) have proven to be an effective vehicle for job-embedded professional learning in our district. We will be using this new resource to take us to the next level!" -- Anita Kissinger, Executive Director, Quality and Development "Clearly shows the success that can occur when a staff learns together. I highly recommend this book to aspiring and beginning principals, as well as those with years of experience." -- Paul Young, Executive Director, West After School Center

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