PLC - Professional Learning Community Home

The professional learning community model flows from the assumption that the core mission of formal education is not simply to ensure that students are taught but to ensure that they learn. This simple shift—from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning—has profound implications for schools.

Three Big Ideas that Drive PLC’s

Goal – To Impact and Improve teaching  -  GETTING A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT PLCs ARE.

1.      Fundamental Purpose of our schools work:
  • What is it we want our students to know and be able to do?

  • How will we know if our students are learning?

  • How will we respond when students do not learn?

  • How will we enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?

2.     If we are to help all students to learn, it will require us to work collaboratively in a collective effort to meet the needs of each student.

Culture of Collaboration The fact that teachers collaborate will do nothing to improve a school. The pertinent question is not, "Are we collaborating?" but rather, "What are we collaborating about?" the purpose of collaboration—to help more students achieve at higher levels—can only be accomplished if the professionals engaged in collaboration are focused on the right things. The powerful collaboration that characterizes professional learning communities is a systematic process in which teachers work together to analyze and improve their classroom practice. Teachers work in teams, engaging in an ongoing cycle of questions that promote deep team learning. This process, in turn, leads to higher levels of student achievement.
  • Educators are organized into meaningful collaborative teams to work interdependently to achieve common goals for which they are mutually accountable.

  • Regular time for collaboration is embedded into the school’s routine practices.

  • Educators are clear on the purpose and priorities of their collaboration. They stay focused on the right work.

  • Principals demonstrate reciprocal accountability. They provide teachers with the resources, training, and ongoing support to help them succeed in implementing th PLC process.

3.    Educators must create a results orientation for evidence of students leaning and use that evidence to drive continuous improvement of the PLC process –

Focusing on Results Professional learning communities judge their effectiveness on the basis of results. Every teacher team participates in an ongoing process of identifying the current level of student achievement, establishing a goal to improve the current level, working together to achieve that goal, and providing periodic evidence of progress.

This requires the following conditions:
  • Every member of the organization is working collaboratively to achieve SMART goals.

    • Strategically and specifically aligned with the school and district goals

    • Measurable

    •  Attainable

    • Results oriented, that is, requiring evidence of higher levels of student learning in order to be achieved

    • Time bound

  • Every member of the organization is working collaboratively with others to gather and analyze evidence of students learning on a regular basis to inform and improve his or her professional practice as well as the collective practice of the collaborative team.

  • Evidence or student learning is being used on a regular basis to identify the specific needs of individual students.  Processes are created to use assessment results to respond to students by name and need.

  • Educators throughout the school assess the effectiveness of every policy, program, procedure, and practice on the basis of its impact on student learning.

Websites of Interest: - Dr. Richard DuFour Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work - Rick DuFour on the Importance of PLCs