Structured journals serve as a valuable framework for supporting professional collaboration and learning within a school and ultimately for improving student achievement. In Journals as Frameworks for Professional Learning Communities, the author demonstrates how school teams can use the structured journal process to consider research, reflect on opportunities, and implement new practices that will also address accountability mandates and enhance teachers' instructional repertoire. The book presents five types of structured journals, each with a specific purpose, that can be used by professional learning communities (PLCs). PLC Journal: Facilitating School Reform; Action Research Journal; Teacher as Researcher; School Portfolios; Our School and Its Benefits; Professional Performance Portfolio; Highly Qualified Teacher PLC; Instructional Planning and Aligning Professional Development With Instructional Priorities. Each chapter includes a case study and sample journal illustrating the four-step journaling process: purpose, focus, process, and outcome. Readers will also find strategies for implementing the process, a set of blank journal templates, a glossary of key terms, and a bibliography. The accompanying CD-ROM contains additional templates, strategies, and implementation tools to assist educators in using the structured journal method.
Mary Dietz is an international consultant specializing in assisting educators in building capacity to establish and facilitate learning communities. She is also co-founder of LearnCity, an educational technology firm offering a web-based solution for designing, implementing, and assessing standards-based instruction, K-12. Her work is focused on coaching educational systems through the design and implementation of school reform efforts. Much of her work with educators has been in the areas of continuous improvement, professional development, coaching, and alternative performance assessments for educators. She established the Portfolio Network for the National Staff Development Council (NSDC), dedicated to promoting the portfolio process for professional learning. She has coached teachers, administrators, school boards, and communities in establishing the relationships necessary for systemic change. Most recently she served as designer and facilitator of an online Knowledge Management System for managing standards-based instruction in California.