Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


The first step in this comparison process is to gain a clear understanding of the term “professional learning community.” Ubiquitously used in current educational literature, there is an inherent need to define a professional learning community’s essential components (DuFour 2004). For the purposes of this piece, the concept of ‘professional learning community’ has four defining characteristics. These essential attributes are: (1) Supportive and collaborative conditions (2) Commitment to continuous improvement (3) Results orientation (4) Shared mission, vision, values and goals While definitions that are more elaborate exist, narrowing the essential characteristics that this piece will examine in light of the Constructivist Design Conference will allow subsequent reflections to be more applicable to one’s own professional development. Through the comparison of these two models, it is our intention to provide a framework for understanding other professional experiences.