In here, out there: Professional learning and the process of improvement


Noonan, J. (2014). In here, out there: Professional learning and the process of improvement. Harvard Educational Review, Harvard Educational Review, 84(2), 145-161.


In this article, James Noonan uses the methodology of portraiture to examine how the administrative team and the teachers at a small, urban middle school approach school improvement. He illustrates the ways in which the pressures associated with attempting school reform in our current high-accountability environment make it difficult for school personnel to engage in the deep learning that transformative change requires. Using observational data and semi-structured interviews, Noonan finds that at Fields Middle School district-initiated redesign is built around an expansive view of learning that embraces uncertainty, collaboration, and reflection as catalysts for broad and sustained school improvement. He illuminates school transformation efforts that hinge on the learning of adults and an understanding of schools as learning organizations, in contrast to reform efforts that adopt linear and hierarchical views of teaching and learning.

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