Essay on Professional Learning Communities

Essay on Professional Learning Communities

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Over the past ten years, the term Professional Learning Community (PLC) has become the buzz word in schools that in most cases, means a meeting. This meeting can be anything from a faculty meeting, department meeting to a group of teachers that teaches the same subject. What happens in these meetings is decided by administrators and can be anything from policy trainings, best practices, and emergency training to a faculty book club. According to the premier architect of the PLC process, Richard DuFour, this perception of a PLC being any type of meeting is wrong. “First, the PLC is the larger organization and not the individual teams that comprise it. While collaborative teams are an essential part of the PLC process, the sum is greater than the individual parts. Much of the work of a PLC cannot be done by a team but instead requires a school wide or district wide effort. Second, the PLC process has a pervasive and ongoing impact on the structure and culture of the school. If educators meet with peers on a regular basis only to return to business as usual, they are not functioning as a PLC. So, the PLC process is much more than a meeting” (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010, p. 10). The difference between a faculty meeting and a PLC is that there must be action taken on the knowledge gained from the discussion within the meeting. In most cases, teachers do not act of the information gained at a school meeting. This may be for a variety of reasons such as not having or being given the time to implement the information, not agreeing with the policies or having become cynical about continual cycle of “new” initiatives. For a true PLC to work, there must be time and effort given by administrators and teachers in order to achiev...


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...munities at work: bring the big ideas to life. Paper presented at the Solution Tree, Salt Lake City, Ut.
DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2010). Learning by doing (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
DuFour, R., & Dufour, R. (2013, November). Building the collaborative culture of a professional learning community at work. Paper presented at the Solution Tree, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Eaker, R. (2013, November). What it means to be a professional learning community. Paper presented at the Solution Tree, Salt Lake City.
Sonju, B. (2013, November). The big rocks: specific actions that make a difference for PLC leaders and teams. Paper presented at the Solution Tree, Salt Lake City, Ut.
Williams, K. C. (2013, November). Are you interested or committed? Reconnecting with the why of PLC work. Paper presented at the Solution Tree, Salt Lake City, Ut.

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