Importance of Professional Learning Communities Learning by Doing

“The PLC process empowers educators to make important decisions and encourages their creativity and innovation in the pursuit of improving student and adult learning. Teachers working in teams have primary responsibility for analyzing evidence of student learning and developing strategies for improvement.” – PLC literature.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), are focused on learning through a collaborative culture and with clearly defined goals. The core concept is to substitute learning in isolation with team learning, backed up with reliable accountability for the simple reason that the program is fundamentally goal-oriented and, for that purpose, requires performance measuring tools to both validate processes, and provide real-world feedback on the efficacy of the teaching methods. The program’s purpose is to foster learning and equip teachers with the tools that enable a learning culture within the student body. The process also requires active monitoring of student learning through frequent, team-developed common formative assessments. This is for teachers to foster learning in a collaborative manner. The PLC annual conference, orchestrated by Solution Tree, is fundamentally team-centered, and requires teachers to go to the conference in teams, to learn by doing, more specifically, team doing. The workshops also help teachers sharpen their formative assessments (CFA: Common Formative Assessment), making sure the students are learning and making the proper adjustments to get results. The method also includes a system of interventions and extensions to help struggling students catch up with their classmates. Data gathering, and analysis are very much involved in the formula, and enable fact-based program assessments to properly measure the program’s efficiency. Last summer, 95 members of the MUSD teaching staff, representing 10 Madera schools, went to the three-day conference to sharpen their teaching tools. Teachers get a lot out of that conference and volunteer their time to attend the stimulating, content-rich event. The international conference is very popular and exposes educators to the gurus who write the books most teachers have in their personal library. Did you know that early out hours are specifically used by teachers to gather, collaborate, and continue their educational team work?


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