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Professional Learning Communities for Change Erin Spies, Monte Poitra, Joshua Grover & Charlotte Otremba.

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Presentation on theme: "Professional Learning Communities for Change Erin Spies, Monte Poitra, Joshua Grover & Charlotte Otremba."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professional Learning Communities for Change Erin Spies, Monte Poitra, Joshua Grover & Charlotte Otremba

2 PLC Learning Outcomes ●Theory ●Format ●Framework ●Use as A Change Agent

3 Agenda ●Pre-Assessment ●Presentation of information ●Evaluation of effective PLC’s ●Post-Assessment ●Questions & Answers

4 What are PLC’s As a small group define Professional Learning Communities The Thinking Behind What a PLC Is PrePost According to Dr. Rick DuFour, a professional learning community (PLC) is “a group of people working interdependently toward the same goal” (DuFlour, 2006).

5 WHAT NOT TO DO! Bad Meeting

6 Theory of PLC’s ●Supportive and Shared Leadership ●Collective Creativity ●Shared Values and Vision ●Supportive Conditions ●Shared Personal Practice

7 Theory of PLC’s as a Change Agent ●Reliant on ○ Responsive Leadership to: ■ implement process ■ maintain structure ■ provide instructional support ●Susceptible to ■ Time ■ Pressures

8 Format/Types of PLC’s ●Level of Education ○ Elementary ■ Grade Level ○ Middle School ■ Teams-Interdisciplinary ●2-5 teachers that share common students but teach different subjects ○ High School ■ Content Area/Grade Level

9 Format/Types of PLC’s ●Higher Education ○ Benefits ■ Enhanced interpersonal relationships ■ Strategic & innovative pedagogies and methodologies “such as cooperative and collaborative learning, service learning, experiential learning, problem-based learning, writing and speaking across the curriculum, and innovative uses of technology” (Jackson, Stebleton, & Laanan, 2013). ■ Collegiality

10 Format/Types of PLC’s ●Content Area ○ Subject ■ Core ■ Elective ○ Department ■ English/Science/Counseling/Library Media/Technology ●School Based ●Cross-School

11 Format/Types of PLC’s ● On-Line PLC’s ○ Benefits ■ flexibility ■ resources ○ Drawbacks ■ collaboration Image from

12 Formats of PLC’s as a Change Agent Structure and Time are an integral part of PLC’s as an Agent of Change. As Mullen and Huntinger concluded in their findings, “the grouping of teachers provides a means of distributed leadership and shared decision making that collectively move a school forward.”

13 PLC Frameworks Characteristics of a PLC “A PLC is not a model, per se; rather, it is an approach or process. Most PLC definitions assume a set of characteristics that reflect the nature of a true PLC. An understanding of these characteristics provides educators with a shared lens through which to examine their own PLCs. They also can provide an infrastructure for shaping practice and assessing progress. A brief description of some of the most commonly cited characteristics follow:” ●NAgenda ●Roles ●Norms ●Focus ●Wrap-up Agenda (CSRI)

14 PLC Frameworks District Example (Riichmond & Manokore 2011)

15 PLC Change Capacity It is possible to find both quantitative and qualitative indicators of the impact of developments including: teachers proactively engaged in professional learning; the setting up of teams to address specific issues/tasks; the development of various school policies; review of the educational programme/curriculum/syllabus; development of a school improvement model based on ideas supporting shared leadership; collaborative, sustained teacher-led inquiry; the establishment of an induction programme for new members of staff; the introduction of an extracurricular programme; improved academic results in national examinations. (Bezzina & Testa, 2005)

16 PLC Change Capacity From the varied forms of engagement a number of issues that stood out include: a greater, stronger feeling of belonging and ownership by all stakeholders, teachers, pupils and parents; a stronger rapport between teachers and pupils; a greater focus on the teaching and learning process; teachers feeling ‘happier’ and ‘enjoying’ going to school; more focused, even tentative approaches to teaching.

17 PLC Change Capacity “Effective PLC’s develop capacity for professional learning on the individual, interpersonal, and school levels in order to improve student learning” (Sleegers, Brok, Verbiest, et al, 2013)

18 Framework of PLC’s as Change Agent In order for Framework to be an effective agent of change PLC’s must include: ●respect and trust among colleagues at the school and network level; ●possession of an appropriate cognitive and skill base that enables pedagogy and leads to effective learning; ●supportive leadership from those in key roles and shared leadership practices; ●the norms of continuous critical inquiry and continuous improvement; ●a widely shared vision of sense of purpose; ●a norm of involvement in decision-making; ●collegial relationships among teachers; ●a focus upon impact and outcomes for learners.”

19 Fishbowl ●Ineffective ●Response ●Effective ●Difference

20 What are PLC’s As a small group define Professional Learning Communities The Thinking Behind What a PLC Is PrePost

21 Q & A: P.L.C. Learning Outcomes ●Theory ●Format ●Framework ●Use as A Change Agent

22 Bibliography CSRI. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bezzina, C., & Testa, S. (2005). Establishing schools as professional learning communities: perspectives from malta. European Journal of Teacher Education, 28(2), 141-150. DuFlour, R. (2006, March). What is a professional learning community. Retrieved from Giles, Corrie, & Hargreaves, Andy (2006). The Sustainability of Innovative Schools as Learning Organizations and Professional Learning. Educational Administration Quarterly, 42:124 Harris, Alma & Jones, Michelle (2010). Professional Learning Communities and System Improvement. Improving Schools. 13:172-181. Retrieved from Huggins, K. R. (2011). Professional Learning Communities as a Leadership Strategy to Drive Math Success in an Urban High School Serving Diverse, Low-Income Students: A Case Study. Journal Of Education For Students Placed At Risk, 6(2), 67-88. Jackson, D., Stebleton, M. J., & Laanan, F. (2013). The Experience of Community College Faculty Involved in a Learning Community Program. Community College Review, 41(1), 3-19. doi:10.1177/0091552112473145

23 Bibliography Linton, Jayme. (2011). Building and maintaining an online professional learning community. Retrieved from Mullen. C.A. & Hutinger, J.L. (2008). The Principal’s Role in Fostering Collaborative Learning Communities Through Study Group Development. Theory Into Practice, 47(4). 276-285.doi:10.1080/00405840802329136 Richmond, G., & Manokore, V. (2011). Identifying elements critical for functional and sustainable professional learning communities. Science Education, 95(3), 543-570. doi:10.1002/sce.20430 Sigurðardóttir, A. (2010). Professional Learning Community in Relation to School Effectiveness. Scandinavian Journal Of Educational Research, 54(5), 395-412. doi:10.1080/00313831.2010.508904 Sleegers, P., Brok, P., Verbiest, E., Moolenaar, M., & Daly, A. (2013). Toward conceptual clarity: a multidemensional, multilevel model of professional learning communities in dutch elementary schools. The Elementary School Journal, 114(1), 118-137. Retrieved from

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