Professional Learning Communities. Based on Professional Learning Communities Research. Sources. Richard DuFour Professional Learning Communities at Work On Common Ground Learning By Doing Mike Schmoker Results Now Presentation to Indiana Superintendents, 2006
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Professional Learning Communities Based on Professional Learning Communities Research
Sources • Richard DuFour • Professional Learning Communities at Work • On Common Ground • Learning By Doing • Mike Schmoker • Results Now • Presentation to Indiana Superintendents, 2006 • Williard Daggett research • International Center for Leadership in Education • Robert Marzano’s McREL research • Dougles Reeves
School Purpose • 21st Century Skills will be learned by all, at high levels, whatever it takes! • We will not allow any student to fail!!
School Systems • The current system in place is called a Bell Curve system and was designed more than a two hundred years ago with the purpose of Selecting and Sorting students • Those who can learn and will go on to become business and political leaders • Those who can’t learn and will become farmers, shop keepers, and in the industrial age, assembly line workers. Low Average High Variation
School Systems • The 21st Century requires schools to move to a J Curve system • All students can learn, whatever it takes High Average Low Variation
Compelling Reason for Change “Education reform must, at its core, make schools into places where human creativity is cultivated and can flourish.” “Expanding education (to be vehicles for enhancing and mobilizing the creative capacities of all our children) is not only a matter of basic human rights; it is an economic imperative!” “We can no longer succeed– or even tread water—with an education system handed down to us from the industrial age, since what we no longer need is assembly-line workers. We need one that instead reflects and reinforces the values, priorities, and requirements of the creative age.” Richard Florida, author of The Flight of the Creative Class
Professional Development • Schools rely on offering professional development to teachers, which is most often voluntary. • The constant dependence on misaligned professional development has produced no improvement in levels of student achievement. • Without significant change to the system, student learning will not improve!
“The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a professional learning community.” • Milbrey McLaughlin • Stanford University
Definition of a Professional Learning Community • “Professional” is someone with expertise in a specialized field, an individual who has not only pursued advanced training to enter the field, but who is also expected to remain current in its evolving knowledge base. • “Learning” suggests ongoing action and perpetual curiosity. It means to study and to practice. • “Community” is an environment that fosters mutual cooperation, emotional support, and personal growth as they work together to achieve what they cannot accomplish alone.
Definition of a Professional Learning Community • Restructuring how people work together to achieve a common aim. Nelda Cambron-McCaabe • School-based learning communities include: • Reflective dialogue among teachers • Deprivatization of practice • Collective focus on student learning • Collaboration • Shared norms and values Kruse, Louis & Bryk
Characteristics of PLCs • Basic structure of a PLC is composed of collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve common goals. • The school systematically and aggressively identify and solve problems as they emerge? • The school creates plans of action, insists that the teachers experiment, create a willingness to test ideas that seem to hold potential for improving student performance. • Experimentation is characterized by ongoing observation, monitoring, measurement and adjustment until real progress and real results can be seen.
A school that purports to be a PLC should be able to answer the following questionsin the affirmative:
Is our response based upon INTERVENTION • Do we provide immediate interventions for struggling students rather than relying on remediation? • Does the plan provide students with additional time and support for learning as soon as they experience difficulty? • rather than rely on remediation (summer school, retention, remedial courses) when students fail to meet a standard at the conclusion of a course or grade level?
Is our response SYSTEMATIC? • Have we created processes that ensure we respond to students according to a school-wide plan rather than according to the discretion of individual teachers? • Are procedures in place to monitor the execution of the plan? • Do we provide consistent responses if asked to explain the steps our school takes when students have difficulty learning?
Is our response TIMELY? • How quickly are we as a school able to identify students who need additional time and support? • How often do we ask the question, “How do we know if our students are not learning?” • And how quickly are we able to respond when a student has been identified?
Is our response DIRECTIVE? • Do you have a systematic plan that requires students to receive the additional assistance and devote the extra time necessary to master the concept (instead of inviting students to seek additional help)? • Do we insist students get extra help whenever there is evidence that those students are having difficulty learning?
How Do We Use Assessments? • Summative Assessments (e.g., ISTEP+, SAT, Core 40, etc.) answers the following question: • “Did the students learn what they were supposed to learn by the designated deadline?” • A Summative Assessment is “assessment of learning” • Formative assessments (given on a frequent basis) answers the following question: • “Are the students learning and what steps must we take to address the needs of those who have not learned?” • A Formative Assessment is “assessment for learning”
Student Information and Formative Assessments • Do teachers know prior to instruction the strengths and weaknesses of particular student? • By unit • By standard / skill indicator • Are teachers proactive in identifying students who would need additional support in order to be successful in school? • Do teachers use criteria referenced formative assessments on a frequent basis to ask: “Are the student learning and what steps must we take in order to address the needs of those who have not learned?”
Standards-Based Performance Assessments • Does you school use common performance assessments to guide instruction and interventions? • Aligned to the standards being taught • Not paper and pencil multiple choice • Students must demonstrate they understand the concept being taught
Effective School PLCs • Does each of our teachers have a clear understanding of what the essential learner objectives are, grade by grade, and course by course? • Are these objectives reflected in your Power Indicators? • Is the mastery of these objectives essential for students to be successful at the next grade or course and essential in the “real” world after graduation? • Do we take adequate steps to ensure that every teacher is aware of and committed to the essential knowledge and skills students need to master?
Effective School PLCs • Are all members in your school actively participating in the learning community—including and especially the teacher’s association representative?
Fundamental Purpose is Learning • Are your teachers absolutely certain what it is we want all students to learn—by grade level, by course, and by unit of instruction? • How do you know when each student has acquired the intended knowledge and skills? • How do you respond when students experience initial difficulty so that we can improve upon current levels of learning?
Essential Definition of a PLC • A PLC must focus on the following: • What happens in our school when a student does not learn? • This question, more than any other, demonstrates a school’s commitment to learning for all students and its progress on the road to becoming a PLC!
Where To Begin? • School purpose or essential mission • Collective shared vision of the future • Organization culture -- beliefs and values • Clarity about what is to be learned • Specific and measurable goals • Commitment by all teachers to collaboratively improve learning • Team time for working together • Team teaching instead of individual teaching • Systematic intervention process • Focus on critical reading and persuasive writing • Students are engaged – learning has real world relevance and interest • Celebrate small successes • Instructional leadership