Book Reviews

Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work

by Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour and Robert Eaker, Solution Tree, Bloomington, Ind., 2008, 520 pp. with index, $42.95 hardcover, $34.95 softcover

The authors define a professional learning community, in their newest work on the topic, as educators who are committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for students. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators.

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Everything you want to know about professional learning communities can be found in Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work: New Insights for Improving Schools. The authors, sometimes known as the 3Rs of professional learning, are among the nation’s foremost authorities on applying PLC principles in the real world of schools.

The book not only reviews the concepts and practices of a PLC, it also explores in detail deeper learning by educators. The case studies and charts clarify the study of components of implementing a PLC. The book takes you into classrooms and districts to stress how this can make a difference in the improvement of student achievement.

The latest work merges research and practices in a way that offers educators practical recommendations for transforming schools. This is presented in a way that educators can see how students may learn at higher levels, and at the same time their profession becomes more rewarding, satisfying and fulfilling.

Finally, the authors suggest no one right way exists for creating a professional learning community. This book would be useful for a study group of administrators as well as an excellent resource for an educational leadership class.

Reviewed by Janiece T. Buck, director, Transition to Teaching Project, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas