Implementation of Communities of Learning: What have we learnt and what has changed?

Clare Valerie Curtice


Many schools in Aotearoa New Zealand have joined Communities of Learning (Kahui Ako), to access funding for professional development and student support.  A business model for management of these Communities of Learning has been transcribed over what were already very functional clusters of collaborative schools. This article questions the allocation of roles, the criteria for selection of experts in these roles, and whether the implementation of the CoLs has led to groupthink, and therefore an unintentional retention of the status quo.


Community of Learning

Full Text:



Baron, R. S. (n.d.). So right it's wrong: Group think and the ubiquitous nature of polarized group decison-making. Retrieved from,5090.1

Bendikson, L. (2015). Community of Schools' (CoSs) leadership - Throwing money and hoping for success? (pp. 1-6, Working paper). Wellington: Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Bottery, M. (2004). The challenges of educational leadership: Values in a globalized age. London: Chapman.

Cobb, P. (1994). Where is the mind? Constructivist and Sociocultural Perspectives on Mathematical Development. Retrieved from DOI:

Dreu, C. K., & Weingart, L. R. (2003). Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(4), 741-749. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.4.741

DuFour, R. (2004). What is a "Professional Learning Community"? Educational Leadership, May. Retrieved June 22, 2017.

DuFour, R. (2004). What Is a Professional Learning Community? Retrieved from

Durie, M. (2015). Educational Leadership for Tomorrow (Working paper). Wellington: Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Education Review Office. (2016) Communities of Learning/Kahui Ako Collaboration to improve learner outcomes (Publication). Education Review Office.

Edmondson, A. C., Roberto, M. A., & Watkins, M. D. (2003). A dynamic model of top management team effectiveness: Managing unstructured task streams. The Leadership Quarterly, 14(3), 297-325. doi:10.1016/s1048-9843(03)00021-3

Fullan, M., Hill, P., & Crevola, C. (2006). Breakthrough. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Gilbert, J. (2015). Leading in collaborative, complex education systems (Working paper). Wellington: Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Graham, P. (2007). Improving Teacher Effectiveness through Structured Collaboration: A Case Study of a Professional Learning Community. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 31(1).

Mason, M. (2014). Complexity theory in education governance: Initiating and sustaining systemic change. Lecture presented at “Understanding complexity: The future of education governance” Oslo, 10 February 2014, Oslo.

New Zealand, Ministry of Education, Wellington. (2016). Communities of Learning. Guide for Schools and Kura.

Timperley, H., Kaser, L., & Halberg, J. (2014). A framework for transforming learning in schools: Innovation and the spiral. Lecture presented at Seminar Series 234 in Centre For Strategic Education, Melbourne. Retrieved from

Wenmoth, D. (2015). Networked Leadership (Working paper). Wellington: Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Wiliam, D. (2016). Teacher Learning. In Leadership [for] teacher learning: Creating a culture where all teachers improve so that all students succeed (p. 178). West Palm Beach, FL: Learning Sciences International.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Clare Valerie Curtice

The New Zealand Journal of Teachers' work is supported by AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.