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Catherine O'Leary Milbier

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of PLCs

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
What is a PLC?
PLCs are "an
on-going process
in which educators work
in recurring cycles of
collective inquiry
action research
to achieve better
for the
they serve."
Why Use PLCs?
Structural Change = the change of systems within a school
Cultural Change
= the change of what is in the "air" - how staff and students interact with each other and the underlying beliefs and mindsets
("culture" includes the assumptions, behaviors, expectations, and habits that constitute the norm for the organization)
The 4 Building Blocks of PLCs
1.) Shared Mission - "What is our Purpose?"
2.) Shared Vision - "What do we hope to become?"
3.) Shared Values (aka "Collective Commitments") - "How must we behave, what commitments must we make and honor, in order to make our shared vision a reality?" (time, task, participation, decision making, listening, confidentiality)
4.) Common Goals - "What are the indicators of progress that we will monitor AND what is the timetable of the specific steps that will be taken to move the school toward its vision?"
Teaching in a PLC...
Teachers, administrators, and support staff must collaborate (as opposed to "co'blab'orate") at all levels in the learning process.
Teachers must collaborate to create vertically aligned common curricula, common pacing, and common assessing..
The focus of all teams must be on
student learning
Failure at any level is not an option.
Teachers ensure that students who struggle with learning receive additional support.
Teachers accept the responsibility of differentiated instruction.
Teams meet to discuss struggling students and problem solve together.
Sustaining a PLC...
(we can do it!)
Becoming a true, genuine PLC is a process and takes time.
Everyone is responsible and cultural change takes work.
The work is never done - getting there is a continuous journey.
In the end, we all want our students to achieve and succeed. Research shows that PLCs drive higher levels of student learning than teaching alone.

PLCs ....
-Team meetings
-Dept. meetings
-whole school meetings
Cultural Shifts in a PLC...
From coverage of content... to demonstrations of mastery.
From working in isolation... to engaging collaborative teams in building a shared knowledge regarding essential curriculum.
From assessments to determine which students failed to learn by the deadline... to assessments to identify students who need additional time and support.
From each teacher determining the criteria to be used in assessing student work... to collaborative teams clarifying the criteria and ensuring consistency among team members when assessing student work.
From individual teachers attempting to discover ways to improve results... to collaborative teams of teachers helping each other improve.
From teachers gathering data from their individual constructed tests in order to assign grades... to collaborative teams acquiring information from common assessments in order to 1.) inform their individual and collective practice and 2.) response to students who need additional time and support.
From a language of complaint... to a language of commitment.
From learning by listening... to learning collectively by doing. and working together.

Dufour, Dufour, Eaker, & Many (2010)
Four Interconnected Factors...
Assessment in a PLC...
Teachers are constantly assessing student learning through a variety of "checks for understanding".

Teachers use data to inform their instruction on a daily basis and to impact their planning and teaching.

Teachers work together to create common assessments to investigate student mastery.
"PLCs" operate under the assumption that the key to
improved learning for students
continuous, job embedded learning for educators
Take on Many Forms...
Are Driven by Inquiry...
How can we improve HW scores in 6th grade?
What are our student technology needs?
How can we help Catherine access the Math curriculum?
What are ways to improve our overall programming?
Use Data...
-HW patterns/grades
-survey results
-research & best practices
1.) new structures and procedures
2.) improved communication
3.) enhanced teacher learning
4.) collective ownership and intelligence
PLCs revolve around
4 critical questions
1.) What is it we want our students to learn?
2.) How will we know if they are learning?
3.) How will we respond when individual students do not learn?
4.) How will we enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?
Dufour, Dufour, Eaker & Many (2010)
Today, we will discuss...
1.) What is a PLC?
2.) Cultural Shifts in PLCs
3.) The 4 Building Blocks of PLCs
4.) Teaching & Assessing in PLCs
5.) Sustaining a PLC
6.) Dept./Team Practice
Professional - someone with expertise who is expected to remain current in the field

Learning - participants remain engaged in ongoing study and constant practice

Community - a group of individuals with shared vision, supportive conditions and common personal practice
A Culture of Collaboration
-Everyone belongs to at least one team that is focused on teaching & learning.
-Teams co-labor together working interdependently on a shared goal for which they are mutually accountable.
-Team efforts are aligned with common vision, mission and goals.
-Teams develop norms and protocols to clarify roles and outcomes.
Full transcript