School Change and Professional Learning Communities

One more thing to share… I am departing a bit from my focus on constructivist learning theory and video games in education for my final Knowledge Area Module (KAM) building up to my dissertation, which will of course return to these topics. For this final KAM (on principles of social systems) I will focus on school change (and systems theory in particular) and then on Professional Development Communities in more depth. Here is the email I sent my advisor last night. I’ll also post my objectives and Learning Agreement (LA) when I complete those this weekend. Then I’ll be doing A LOT of reading. I may have to begin while I await feedback. Dr. Schorger’s daughter is getting married in 8 days. :D

Jock,

I found my search of educational technology change theorists to be fruitless. It seems that educational technologists write about change theorists and apply change theory to educational technology, but they do not seem to generate new theory.

So, I am moving DuFour & DuFour into the Depth portion of my KAM to accomodate Michael Fullan in the Breadth portion. Then, in the Depth portion I can focus in on facilitating school change through Professional Learning Communities. The DuFours will provide the most content here, and I will include several other authors (or teams of authors) who have also contributed to the field. Unfortunately, there are not a small number of leaders, so I will include a larger number of theorists who have each made a contribution to the field.

The theorists for my KAM will thus look something like this:

Educational Change Theory in Breadth
Peter M. Senge
Robert Evans
Michael Fullan

Professional Learning Communities in Depth
Richard DuFour & Rebecca DuFour (The bulk of this section)
Sylvia M. Roberts & Eunice Z. Pruit (one book title)
Huffman Jane Bumpers (one book title)
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (one book title)
Randi Stone & Prudence H. Cuper (one book title)
Penelope Jo Wald & Michael S. Castleberry (one book title)
Shelley Waltonen-Moore, et al (one article title)

As for my original contributions… in both portions I will focus on the application of these theories in the implementation of educational technologies, particularly new emerging technologies such as video games and simulations. I will also reflect on the use of educational technologies, including video games, to better implement these theories.

I made a lot of purchases at Amazon tonight, because I am passionate about all of these topics and I am fairly confident I can write a workable LA for these theorists. So, I’ll anxiously await your feedback on this. If you get a chance to respond before the wedding, great. If not, no worries. I will move forward with writing my objectives and introductions, and getting the reference lists together for the LA, which I will send along to you when it is ready.

Thanks for taking the time to look this over, whenever you get to it.

-Mark

I’m rediscovering my passion for change theories, and I think this is good work to be delving into as I enter the world of educational technology consulting.