Professional Learning Community
Big Idea #1: Ensuring That Students Learn
The very essence of a learning community is a focus on and a commitment to the learning of each student. Educators engage with colleagues in an ongoing exploration of three critical questions that drive the work of those within the Professional Learning Community (PLC).
- What do we want each student to learn?
- How will we know when each student has learned it?
- How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
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 collaborative culture. The teams in a PLC engage in collective inquiry into both best practices in teaching and best practices in learning. They also inquire about their current reality including their present practices and the levels of achievement of their students. They attempt to arrive at consensus on vital questions by building shared knowledge rather than pooling opinions. They have an acute sense of curiosity and openness to new possibilities.
Big Idea #3: A Focus on Results
Professional learning communities judge their effectiveness on the basis of results. Working together to improve student achievement becomes the routine work of everyone in the PLC. Every teacher team participates in an ongoing process of identifying the current level of student achievement, establishing a goal to improve the current level, working together to achieve that goal, and providing periodic evidence of progress.