Presentation on theme: "Power of Professional Learning Communities"— Presentation transcript:
1 Power of Professional Learning Communities Schalmont Central School DistrictSeptember 3, 2013
2 The Power of Professional Learning Communities “The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a professional learning community”McLaughlin, 1995The path to change in the classroom lies within and through professional learning communites.
3 Clarity Precedes Competence “It is hard enough to explain what a complex idea means for action when you understand it… It is impossible when you use terms that sound impressive but you don’t really understand what they mean.Pfeffer & Sutton, 2000, p. 52Rollout planInvite hybrid attendees to stand. Our review discussion. Everyone was unanimous with this proceeding. You will hear us talk about clarity proceeding confidence. New educational lexicon.
4 PLC DefinedAn 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 improve learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators.(DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010)Framework, Process ongoing, ethos,
6 PLC StructureLong term stretch and short term goals.
7 Characteristics of a learning community Shared vision, mission, values, goalsCollaborative teams focused on learningCollective inquiry into best practice and current realityAction orientation and experimentationCommitment to continuous improvementResults orientation
8 Big Idea of a PLCWe accept learning as the fundamental purpose of our school and therefore are willing to examine all practices in light of their impact on learning“Teaching without learning isn’t teaching, it’s just presenting”National Superintendent of the YearStudent Achievment =the criterion for teaching curriculum and assessment, relentless regularity, is it working to improve student learning
9 PLC’s focus on the Critical Questions of Learning 1. What is it we expect them to learn?2. How will we know when they have learned it?3. How will we respond when they don’t learn?4. How will we respond when they already know it?
11 Collaborative Culture We are committed to working together to achieve our collective purpose. We cultivate a collaborative culture through the development of high performing teams.COLLABORATE = CO-LABORCo-labor on the right work - educators work and learn collaboratively with a clear focus on the learning of students as well as themselves.Teachers are given the time and tools to collaborate, the organization and structure is set in such a way that makes this a priority. (Not an Add-On)
12 Why should we collaborate? Gains in student achievementHigher quality solutions to problemsIncrease confidence among all staffMore peer support of strengths and accommodation of weaknessesAbility to test new ideasMore support for new teachersExpanded pool of ideas, materials and methodsThis list is from Little who did a study of multiple schools who were organized as a PLC.
13 Teams in Professional Learning Communities Collaborate on theRightIssuesToImpactChild &AdultLearning
15 Results Oriented Goals We assess our effectiveness on the basis of results rather than intentions. Individuals, teams, and schools seek relevant data and information and use that information to promote continuous improvement.
16 Professional Learning Communities focus on results in two ways 1. To identify students who need more time and support for learning.2. To identify strategies to improve upon both our individuals and collective ability to teach each essential skill and concept.
18 School Culture“ School culture is the set of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and stories that make up the persona of the school”Peterson, 2002
19 Necessary Cultural Shifts In traditional schools each teacher in isolation:Decides what to teach and when to teach itAdministers infrequent summative assessmentsFocuses on inputs of teachingPractices the “if only” model of improvementDetermines what to do when students don’t learnIn Professional Learning Communities teams of teachers:Build shared knowledge about essential learning and pacingAdminister frequent common formative assessmentsFocus on results – evidence of learningPractice the quote “What if” model of improvement – looking in the mirrorCreate systemic responses that ensure learning support for every student
21 Timetable for PLCSept 4 - PLC presentation #1: Building Shared Knowledge: Mission, Vision and Collective CommitmentsSept 11 - PLC Presentation #2: Building Shared Knowledge: PLC tenets and SMART goalsSept 18 – PLC Presentation #3: Structure of teams, setting norms and looking at SMART GoalsSept 25 – Time for completion of tasks based on presentationsSept 27 – Professional Development Day, presentation/work time on Common Formative Assessments
22 Hand in Hand, We All Learn “ Ultimately there are two kinds of schools: learning-enriched schools and learning-impoverished schools. I have yet to see a school where the learning curves… of the adults were steep upward and those of the students were not. Teachers and students go hand and hand as learners… or they don’t go at all.” Barth 2001, p. 23
23 Linking Learning and Improvement PlanDoStudyActPlan – a change or action based on data, Do – the change or action, Study – the results to learn what did and did not work & Act – by refining the idea or implementing on a broader scale
24 Pursuing Both Short Term and Stretch Goals “When building a results-oriented culture, leaders must find a balance between the attainable goals teams feel they can achieve in the short term and stretch goals – goals so ambitious they could not possibly be achieved unless practices within the organization change significantly.”Connect to strategic plan, “collegial support and professional development in schools are unlikely to have any effect on improvement of practice and performance if they are not connected to a coherent set of goals that give direction and meaning to learning and collegiality” Richard Elmore
25 SMART Goals Strategic and Specific Measurable Attainable Linked to strategic priorities part of a larger vision of success for the entire school districtMeasurableBeing able to measure a change in results based on specific actionsAttainable-Within the realm of our influence and controlResults orientedDefine not only what is expected but a desired end pointTime boundHelps keep achievement of the goal a priority