PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES DEFINED
Dr. Rick DuFour defines a professional learning community (PLC) as “a group of people working interdependently toward the same goal.” Interdependence is an essential element because it:
- Provides equal access (equity, or universal access) to quality teaching by strengthening each teacher’s practice through collaboration, coaching, and shared planning
- Ends teacher isolation (thus reducing burnout)
- Helps teachers work smarter by sharing the tasks of analyzing data, creating common assessment tools, and devising other strategies for both students who struggle and those who need more challenge
- Provides teacher professional growth and job satisfaction through intellectual renewal, new learning, and cultivating leadership
The process is intended to harness the collective energies, talents, and expertise of teaching professionals.
FOUR CRITICAL QUESTIONS THAT GUIDE OUR WORK
1. What is most essential for students to learn?
2. How will we know they have learned it?
3. How will we respond when they do not learn?
4. How will we respond when they already know it?
THREE BIG IDEAS THAT GROUND OUR WORK
1. We ensure that all students learn at high levels.
2. We focus on results of student learning.
3. We engage as a collaborative team.