Book Authors: Richard DuFour and Michael Fullan (2013)
Educators and practitioners interested to know where culture falls in their school turnaround framework should pick up a copy of Richard DuFour and Michael Fullan's Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work. DuFour and Fullan assert that cultural change is undeniably the most important piece in school turnaround, and one way to sustain it is through systemic Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).
DuFour and Fullan say the goal of this book is to show leaders how to make PLCs systemic and help all students achieve at higher levels. The book analyzes barriers, strategies, and payoffs of PLCs. Readers will learn the meaning of PLCs on a deep operational level, and understand what the PLC process looks like in action. This book will benefit especially those interested in how to maximize school and teacher autonomy through PLCs (Chapter 3), implement state and district level standards with systemic PLCs (Chapter 4), or even break the stereotype that all PLCs work (Chapter 1).
Two main arguments of the books is that changing culture in systemic ways is at the heart of any successful large-scale education reform, and PLCs is an ongoing endeavor, rather than a program solution. PLCs are a process of fundamentally altering the entire culture of system with the end goal of sustained improvement. Practitioners will appreciate the too-loose and too-tight dichotomy, addressed with examples of implementing systemic PLCs. In the end, PLCs call for learning together, and authors remind us there is no end to learning.
Fullan, Michael and Richard DuFour (2013). Cultures built to last. Solution Tree: Bloomington, IN.