Professional Learning Communities Essay

Professional Learning Communities Essay

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The role of schools is student learning. A significant factor in whether students learn well is the ability and quality of the teachers. Quality is improved through continuous professional development. The framework most supportive of the learning of professionals is professional learning communities (PLC) (Hord, 2009). Forming PLC is a process of focusing on student achievement while empowering educators with the skill set to make a difference. PLC support the partnership between student learning and professional development for educators. PLC that align with the school’s mission, vision, values, and goals result in high levels of learning for all students.
A PLC can be defined as an intentional, ongoing, systematic process through which teachers and administrators work collaboratively to seek, share, and act on learning. The overall goal being to enhance the effectiveness as professionals for students’ benefit (Hord, 1997). PLC start with a clear statement of purpose and goals. Focusing on student learning goals allows leaders to set high expectations and make rigorous standards (Guskey, 2000). Schools cannot function as a PLC until the staff has struggled through the questions that provide direction both for the school as an organization and the individuals within the organization (Eaker, DuFour, & DuFour, 2002).
There are several organizational structures that work simultaneously to form a successful PLC. One part of the structure is setting the framework of PLC. The framework can be modeled after the Three Big Ideas of PLC. Richard DuFour and Rebecca DuFour explain the three ideas as the following:
1. Commitment to high levels of learning for all students
2. A collaborative and a collective effort among st...


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...arning communities. Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service.
Guskey, T. R. (2000). Evaluating professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Hord, S. (1997). Professional learning communities: What are they and why are they important? Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 6(1). Retrieved November 11, 2011, from http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues61.html
Hord, S. M. (2009). Professional learning communities. The Journal of the National Staff Development Council, 30(1), 40-43.
Killion, J. (2003). Eight smooth steps: Solid footwork makes evaluation of staff development programs a song. The Journal of the National Staff Development Council, 24(4), 14-23.
Rantz, L. (2011, November 9). Using the survey data to implement PLC. Lecture presented at Developing Professional Learning Communities in Baker University, Overland Park, KS.

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