How do I create a rich adult community of Inclusion Specialists that has the capacity to guide change across our schools?
This action research is focused on the development of a professional adult learning community of Special Educators across twelve public charter schools. I first reviewed effective practices in distributed leadership, adult learning, professional development, and inclusion to guide the design of four professional development meetings that took place over the course of a school year. I then collected data through surveys, exit cards, focus groups, and individual interviews to discern how individuals of the learning community experienced our shared work. I identified four major findings: a strong professional learning community needs leadership capacity, improvement questions and site visits require structure and authenticity, significant community building happens informally, and engaging PD is driven by teachers. I conclude by reflecting about the process of organizational change, suggesting that to build a strong culture of inclusion and equity across schools, it is important to also include the voices of school leaders in the work.