The Use of Common Planning Time: A Case Study of Two Kentucky Schools to Watch

By: Christopher M. Cook, Ph.D., Shawn A. Faulkner, Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary teams with common planning time have been a hallmark of the middle school organizational structure since the 1960s, yet research on the effective use of common planning time is limited. This study explores how interdisciplinary teams at schools designated Kentucky Schools to Watch use common planning time, including the factors that enhance common planning time effectiveness, the beliefs and perceptions of the teachers concerning the use of common planning time, and the topics and activities discussed during common planning time sessions. Results indicate a common vision and mission, clearly defined goals for all types of planning (interdisciplinary team planning, grade level planning, and professional learning communities), and effective building leadership are factors for enhancing the effectiveness of common planning time.

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Published in Research in Middle Level Education Online, 2010

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