SAS Educators Headline Book on Learning Communities

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( — July 25, 2016) Singapore, Singapore — Global Perspectives: Professional Learning Communities At Work™ in International Schools has just been released on July 22, 2016 from Solution Tree Press. This book for schools about building professional learning communities (PLCs) is edited by Singapore American School executive director of strategic programs Dr. Timothy S. Stuart. A resource that will interest educators looking to transform international and high-performing schools into student-centered professional learning communities, it will provide insight into how PLCs can transform schools into high-performing, student-centered learning institutions. This book takes many of its research-based recommendations and examples from Singapore American School and Jakarta Intercultural School.

Contributors include Paul Buckley, Treena Casey, Anthea Clifton, Joshua Curnett, Dr. Darin L. Fahrney, David Hoss, Dr. Chip Kimball, Daniel L. Machacek, Tico Oms, Devin R. Pratt, Dr. Vicki Rameker-Rogers, Peter Round, and Jennifer L. Sparrow, who are international school educators involved in PLCs and curricula across grade levels and subjects. Readers will be able to define the professional learning community process and understand its benefits to international schools, learn how to shift from a teacher-focused school to a student-centered, learning-focused culture, work in collaborative teams across grade levels, departments, and courses, and create a curriculum that nurtures a high level of learning for all students. 

In the introduction, Dr. Stuart describes how teachers can benefit from professional growth from PLCs, and what teachers must do and believe for a PLC structure to succeed in their school. In “Building a PLC Culture in International Schools—A Superintendent’s Perspective,” SAS Superintendent Dr. Chip Kimball describes steps that SAS educators took to shift the school’s priorities and fully institutionalize behaviors consistent with expectations.

In “Understanding the International School Student,” Dr. Vicki Rameker-Rogers expounds on unique characteristics of third culture kids and how such students can particularly benefit from PLCs. And Joshua Curnett recalls in “Understanding the International School Teacher” how his PLC expertise from the US would not cleanly align with the culture and established practices of an international school, and stresses that a school’s culture should shape a PLC. 

In “Creating a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum in International Schools,” Treena Casey defines curriculum as the means through which a school can convey and uphold its mission and vision in daily classroom practices. And in “Creating a Learning-Focused International School,” Jennifer L. Sparrow explains how teachers can increase their assessment literacy and adopt standards-based assessment tactics. She points out the potential that conscientiously crafted standards-based assessments have to improve international students’ learning.

Dr. Fahrney points out in “Creating an Inclusive International School” how an increase in the demand for inclusive schools has emerged, and provides direction on why inclusive international schools should take a PLC approach and craft schoolwide methods to meet all students’ learning needs. Dr. Stuart describes in “Building a Progressive International School Through the PLC Process” how the PLC model can empower students to own their learning and adapt to an ever-changing world.

In “Learning From the Jakarta Intercultural School Story,” Paul Buckley, Anthea Clifton, Daniel L. Machacek, and Peter Round chronicle the improvement cycle that Jakarta Intercultural School adopted to establish a PLC and methods of monitoring, assessing, and intervening for its teams. And in “Transforming the Singapore American School,” Dr. Fahrney. Dr. Stuart, Devin R. Pratt, and David A. Hoss record steps that Singapore American School took to become a PLC, and strategies that teachers discovered through this transformation. 

Dr. Stuart writes, “For teachers in international schools, the single biggest benefit of PLCs is the unmatched professional growth that comes with becoming vulnerable enough with colleagues and being willing to challenge every teaching, assessment, and intervention method to better serve students.”  

Tim Carr, Head of School, Jakarta Intercultural School notes, “With vivid stories from both Jakarta Intercultural School and Singapore American School, the case for adoption of PLC principles is made clear. Simply put, no matter where they occur, Professional Learning Communities enhance learning. PLC schools with different linguistic, religious, and ideological backgrounds learn to listen attentively and communicate with nuance across cultural divides, all to maximize learning.

“International schools are largely untethered by national and regional requirements and are thus even more independent than most private schools around the world. That means that they can choose virtually any curriculum, pedagogy, and organizational structure that will meet the learning needs of its globally mobile constituency. For those schools whose mission or vision is to innovate, PLC-styled collaboration is one of the most important keys to success. Global Perspectives illustrates that such collaborative communities unlock dynamism—a commitment to a growth mindset for all concerned.”

Educator and authority on the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process Dr. Richard DuFour, EdD, writes in the foreword, “[If] educators are firmly committed to the status quo, they can always discover a reason that the PLC process won’t work for them. A school is too big or too small. Its students are too low performing or are already too high preforming. The district is too top down or too laissez-faire. The timing isn’t right. Leadership is lacking. But I have also found that when educators fully commit to the PLC process, they will work together to identify and overcome every obstacle to implementation because they know that in doing so they create greater opportunities for the success of all students.”

Dr. Stuart has served as a chief architect for research and development at SAS, supporting strategic school reform. Under his leadership as SAS’s former high school principal, he led the high school through PLC implementation, which gained it recognition as a PLC exemplar school. Dr. Stuart also served as the high school principal of Jakarta Intercultural School where he helped introduce the PLC construct. Dr. Stuart also contributed to It’s About Time: Planning Interventions and Extensions in Secondary School, and coauthored the books Children At Promise and Raising Children At Promise.

Global Perspectives: Professional Learning Communities At Work in International Schools™ ships from Solution Tree’s webstore and Amazon. For more information, please contact Dr. Timothy S. Stuart at


About Singapore American School

Singapore American School offers a US curriculum with an international perspective for students in preschool through grade twelve. SAS has the largest Advanced Placement program outside the US, is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and offers the US High School Diploma at the senior level. Established in 1956, the school primarily serves the US and international expatriate communities of Singapore. For more information, please visit or contact the SAS communications office at or +65-6360-6031.

Singapore American School

40 Woodlands Street 41
Singapore, Singapore 738547
+65 6363 3403