Presentation on theme: "The Finishing Pieces ACSD Summer Conference 2008 Karen Sullards Principal Bayou Meto Elem PCSSD."— Presentation transcript:
The Finishing Pieces ACSD Summer Conference 2008 Karen Sullards Principal Bayou Meto Elem PCSSD
Professional Learning Communities: A Cultural Shift Getting Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities by Robert Eaker, Richard Dufour, & Rebecca B. Dufour
The Charles Darwin School We believe all kids can learn…based on their ability The Pontius Pilate School We believe all kids can learn…if they take advantage of the opportunity we give them to learn
The Chicago Cubs Fans School We believe all kids can learn…something, and we will help all students experience growth in a warn and nurturing environment. The Henry Higgins School We believe all kids can learn…and we will work to help all students achieve high standards of learning
PLC’s are education’s best hope of reculturing schools…a school’s culture involves “how we do things around here” …changing how schools are organized is the primary way to change behavior. …this shift in culture necessitates altering the belief system.
“ In Schools, treading water is no longer an option. School People must either propel themselves in some direction, be towed or sink.” --Roland Barth
Focus on learning A collaborative working culture Inquiry into best practices and current reality Learn by doing Commitment to continuous improvement Results oriented
The very essence of a learning community is a focus on and a commitment to the learning of each student.. Shifts focus of school from teaching to learning Adult Learning – in order for a school to be effective the adults must be continually learning
Research Says: It is the single most important factor for successful school improvement and the 1 st order of business for those seeking to enhance the effectiveness of their school. --Eastwood and Lewis
A Professional Learning Community is composed of collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve a common goal linked to the purpose of learning for all “Without collaborative teams and relationships it is not possible to learn and continue to learn as much as you need to know to improve.” --Michael Fullen
Where we are Sharing Craft Knowledge Develop new skills, teaching strategies and capabilities Which over time becomes a heightened awareness which over time transforms the culture of the school.
Members of PLC’s are action orientated: They move quickly to turn aspirations into actions and visions into reality. Research show the most powerful learning always occurs in the context of taking action (Kids and Adults) Avoids paralysis by analysis and overcomes inertia with action
Evidence of the current levels of student learning Develop Strategies to address weaknesses and build on strengths Implement those strategies Analyze the impact of the changes to see what was effective Apply new knowledge in next cycle of continuous improvement
What exactly do we expect students to learn? What does it look like? How will we know when each student has acquired these skills? How does the PLC respond when the student does not learn?
TRADITIONALPLC Traditional Schools Each teacher independently decides what to teach. Curriculum overload is common. Professional Learning Communities Collaboratively agreed upon curriculum focuses on what students are expected to learn. Reduced content means meaningful content is taught at greater depth. Assessment is developed through collaboration. A plan for responding to student who are not learning is developed through collaboration.
TRADITIONALPLC Traditional Schools Decisions about improvement strategies are made by “averaging opinions.” Professional Learning Communities Decisions are research-based with collaboration teams of teachers seeking out “best practices
TRADITIONALPLC Traditional Schools Effectiveness of improvement strategies is externally validated. Teachers rely on others outside the school to identify what works. Emphasis is placed on how teachers like various approaches. Professional Learning Communities Approaches are internally validated. Teams of teachers try various approaches and collaborate on how the approaches affect student learning. The effect on student learning is the primary basis for assessing various improvement strategies.
Traditional Schools Administrators are viewed as being in leadership positions while teachers are viewed as “implementors” or followers. Traditional Schools Administrators are viewed as being in leadership positions while teachers are viewed as “implementors” or followers.
Traditional Leadership is top down with teachers taking a secondary role to the principal PLC Teachers share the leadership by Reading Action Research Analyze Data New Strategies Work Collaboratively with others by: Planning Modeling Sharing Craft Knowledge
Energize others to join the leadership process Develop talent and commitment of others Teachers view themselves as empowered because of the shared responsibilities Don’t have all the answers Display a collaborative nature Rely on leadership rather than authority Comfortable with WIN/WIN with staff
Promote a common vision Maintain focus on learning and instructional matters Acknowledge the challenges and rewards of shared leadership Open to feedback Learn from Experience Listen to requests from teachers to provide materials, time, and the opportunity to assume leadership Work with teachers to provide staff development needs that have been identified
Hold as a group a clear, shared mission/vision of the school Use Action Research to improve instruction Strong teacher leadership Effective instructional programs Shared craft knowledge among teachers Are collaborative Are reflective
Bayou Meto Elementary Before PLCs 2005 After PLCs 2006 and 2007 YEAR3 RD MATH 3 RD LIT4 TH MATH 4 TH LIT5 TH MATH 5 TH LIT 0569 %51 %74 %53 %43 %54 % 0675 %63 %79 %77 %53 %68 % 0786 %75 %79 %74 %77 %75 % 08 89% 67% 89% 77% 80% 81%
Arnold Drive Elementary Before PLCs 2005 After PLCs 2006 and 2007 YEAR3 RD MATH 3 RD LIT4 TH MATH 4 TH LIT5 TH MATH 5 TH LIT 0566 %68 %55 %60 %53 %60 % 0675 %68 %70 %68 %72 % 0780 %68 %97 %69 %81 %89 %
To Change Others…..1 st Change Yourself Create small collaborative, committed and empowered groups Focused on learning and results Margaret Mead, noted anthropologist, states “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” PLCs are helping us make those changes in some Arkansas Schools.