Learning Communities (PLC)
Big Idea #1: Ensuring That Students Learn
- The core mission of formal education is not simply to ensure that
students are taught but to ensure that they learn.
When a school functions as a professional learning
community, teachers have a coordinated strategy when students do not learn.
The staff designs strategies to ensure that struggling students receive
additional time and support, no matter who their teacher is. In addition to
being systematic and school wide, the professional learning community's
response to students who experience difficulty is:
- Timely. The school quickly identifies students who need
additional time and support.
- Based on Intervention rather than remediation. The plan
provides students with help as soon as they experience difficulty rather
than relying on summer school, retention, and remedial courses.
- Directive. Instead of inviting students to seek
additional help, the systematic plan requires students to devote
extra time and receive additional assistance until they have mastered the
Big Idea #2: A Culture of Collaboration
- Educators who are building a professional learning community recognize
that they must work together to achieve their collective purpose of
learning for all. Therefore, they create structures to promote a
- The powerful collaboration that characterizes professional learning
communities is a systematic process in which teachers work together to
analyze and improve their classroom practice.
Big Idea #3; A Focus on Results
- Teachers stop using averages to analyze student performance and begin
to focus on the success of each student.
Four crucial questions that drive the work of those
within a professional learning community:
- What do we want each student to learn?
2. How will we know when
each student has learned it?
3. How will we respond when
a student experiences difficulty in learning?
4. How will we respond when a student
already knows it?
The answer to the third question separates professional
learning communities from traditional schools.
DuFour, R. Eaker, R., & DuFour, R. (Eds.)
(2005). On common ground: The power of professional learning
communities. Bloominton, IN: National Education Service.
Grade Level Smart Goals and Expected Outcomes