Presentation on theme: "Powerful PLCs Building the Collaborative Culture of a Professional Learning Community at Work Patricia Zamora"— Presentation transcript:
Powerful PLCs Building the Collaborative Culture of a Professional Learning Community at Work Patricia Zamora
The Power of Professional Learning Communities “The most promising strategy for sustained, substantial school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a professional learning community.” -McLaughlin, 1995 The path to change in the classroom lies within and through professional learning communities.
What’s the Story?
Barriers to a Learning Community A professional norm of teacher isolation
What is a PLC? Clarity Precedes Competence “It is hard enough to explain what complex idea means for action when you understand it… It is impossible when you use the terms that sound impressive but you don’t really understand what they mean.” -Pfeffer & Sutton, 2000, p. 52
Traditional School Structures K Individual Kingdom Traditional School Structure Independent Kingdoms
Psuedo PLC Structure Individual Kingdoms Organized into isolated groups on an infrequent basis Kindergarten Group First Grade Group Second Grade Group Third Grade Group Fourth Grade Group Fifth Grade Group
Professional Learning Community Defined An ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators. ( DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010)
The PLC Structure A cohesive school organized into Interdependent Collaborative Teams united by the PLC Foundation Kindergarten Group First Grade Group Second Grade Group Third Grade Group Fourth Grade Group Fifth Grade Group SHARED PURPOSE: Ensuring high-levels of learning for all students SHARED VISION: Creating structures and culture to ensure all kids learn COLLECTIVE COMMITMENTS: Clarifying how each individual will contribute to achieving the vision SHARED GOALS: Identifying indicators to monitor progress Vertical Dialogue
Characteristics of a Learning Community Shared mission, vision, values, and goals Collaborative teams are focused on learning Collective Inquiry into best practice and current reality Action Orientation and experimentation Commitment to continuous improvement Results Oriented - DuFour & Eaker
What is Collaboration? A systematic process in which we work together interdependently to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results. (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, Getting Started: Recruiting Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities, 2002)
The Focus of Collaboration Collaborative cultures, which by definition have close relationships, are indeed powerful, but unless they are focusing on the right things, they may end up being powerfully wrong.” -Fullan, Leading a Culture of Change (2001)
Our Current Reality Individually, silently and honestly assess your campus current reality
The Critical Question is…. “ Not “Do we collaborate?” but rather, “What do we collaborate about?”
Step One in Building the PLC Process: Build Shared Knowledge A cardinal rule: Professional Learning Communities always attempt to answer critical questions by first: BUILDING SHARED KNOWLEDGE – engaging in collective inquiry – LEARNING together. The first step is to “learn together” Using the standards in a collaborative study.
Seven Keys to Effective Teams 1.Embed collaboration in routine practices of the school with a focus on learning. 2.Schedule time for collaboration into the school day and school calendar. 3.Focus teams on critical questions. 4.Make products of collaboration explicit.
To Help Teams Build the Capacity of Teams, Address….. Why: Rationale How: Process What: Common Language, tools, templates, materials, resources, examples When: Timeline Guiding Questions Criteria for clarifying quality of each product Tips and suggestions
Seven Keys to Effective Teams 1.Embed collaboration in routine practices of the school with a focus on learning. 2.Schedule time for collaboration into the school day and school calendar. 3.Focus teams on critical questions. 4.Make products of collaboration explicit. 5.Establish team norms to guide the collaboration. 6.Pursue specific and measurable team performance goals. 7.Provide teams with frequent access to relevant information.
Only WE Can Create A New Story “The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves. We are the ones we have been waiting for.” -Elders, Arinzona Hopi Nation, 2001