School & District Management Obituary

Obituary

By Madeline Will — February 14, 2017 1 min read

Richard DuFour, a renowned education consultant and author who advocated collaborative teaching environments, died Feb. 8. He was 69.

DuFour was a leading voice in the movement to improve schools through professional learning communities, in which teachers come together to analyze and improve classroom practice.

His 1998 best-selling book, Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement, co-written with former education school dean Robert Eaker, includes collaborative strategies for teachers and principals. DuFour held that principals should have a “loose-tight” leadership style that allows teachers some autonomy in decisionmaking, but protects the school’s shared vision and values.

A former teacher, DuFour spent 19 years as a principal and a superintendent in Lincolnshire, Ill. Under his leadership, Adlai E. Stevenson High School was one of only three schools to win the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award four times. DuFour is survived by his wife, Rebecca DuFour, a former teacher and principal who later became his business partner, writing, consulting, and lecturing with him across the United States.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 15, 2017 edition of Education Week as Obituary

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