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Professional Learning Communities


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This presentation explains the importance of professional learning communities as a whole school approach to growth.

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Professional Learning Communities

  1. 1. NZPF Conference 3 July 2008 Dr Cheryl Doig Powerful Professional Learning Communities
  2. 3. WHAT IS A PLC? When members of your school collaborate in an intentional and consistent manner to support student learning.
  3. 4. Adapted from Joan Dalton and David Anderson Relationships occurs in the context of your school environment Learning Support Working together, sharing ideas and being supported to update knowledge and skills Challenge To raise student achievement through evidence based learning conversations A Professional Community
  4. 5. <ul><li>decreased teacher isolation </li></ul><ul><li>increased commitment to mission </li></ul><ul><li>shared responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>more powerful learning </li></ul><ul><li>higher likelihood of fundamental system change </li></ul>Why bother? DuFour, DuFour & Eaker (2002)
  5. 6. COLLABORATIVE CULTURE Support Working together, sharing ideas and being supported to update knowledge and skills Diversity Systems SUPPORT
  6. 7. Develop the key competencies in your adults Staff feedback - induction, satisfaction, and exit This is an easy way to initiate a PLC Yeah RIGHT!
  7. 8. What are we currently doing in our school? What connections have you made?
  8. 9. FOCUS ON RESULTS CHALLENGE Challenge To raise student achievement through evidence based learning conversations Building capacity Professional Inquiry Implementing a PLC - beyond support
  9. 10. Q1 I’ll decide Colleague’s job efficiency level Extent of leader’s control over colleagues’ decisions and actions Q2 We’ll discuss I’ll decide Q3 We’ll discuss We’ll decide Q4 You decide Wilf Jarvis - Four Quadrant Leadership
  10. 11. School Talk Non-learning Talk Learning Talk Teacher practice, student learning and so what? Non-teaching Talk Eg organisation, resourcing Teacher Practices Talk Describes practice without attached analysis or learning Professional Inquiry Adapted from Annan, Lai & Robinson 2003 With recognition to Roween Higgie, Principal of Remuera School
  11. 12. Human systems move in the direction of what they most frequently and persistently ask questions about. What you study G R O W S Yeah RIGHT! Firebox - Auger - Tuyere
  12. 13. What are the things you persistently ask questions about in your school? Are these the most important things? What one area do you want to work on next in order to bring about the next step of your challenge? If you’re not moving forward you’re going backward.
  13. 14. RELATIONSHIPS CULTURE BUILDING Sustaining the change Sustaining a PLC - beyond support and challenge
  14. 15. Shared norms values and beliefs about learning Reflecting on our meeting time… Which aspects of our team charter are we using well? What’s not working so well, that we need to focus on more? What resources/informaton do we need to help us? Wider Involvement &quot;Don't let this be a onetime thing.” &quot;It would be good if teachers have this conversation with us on the first day. But often, they don't change anything.&quot;
  15. 16. Increased Trust = Increased speed + Decreased cost Increased focus on learning Adapted from The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey DWWSWWD
  16. 17. Decreased Trust results in… decreased speed + increased cost Decreased focus on learning Adapted from The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey When the safety and well being of students is compromised challenge comes before support.
  17. 18. Yeah RIGHT! Embed feedback systems for students, staff and parents into your ‘way of doing things’ - never assume! Find safe ways of getting feedback about yourself and take action You can’t do it alone. It’s messy. It’s moral. It’s everyone’s responsibility!
  18. 19. Trust….credibility… … .Shared norms…. … whose voices…. What would your staff say about the relationships you have?
  19. 20. FOCUS ON LEARNING What do we want each child to learn? WHY? How will we know when each child has learnt it? How will we respond when students experience difficulties in learning? DuFour et al, 2004
  20. 21. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
  21. 22. INTO THEIR FUTURE… Role of other voices - all staff, students and parents Google -Docs, Groups, Alerts Blogs Wikis FaceBook Skype Online Surveys Knowledge Cafes
  22. 23. Focus on LEARNING Support Challenge A Professional Working together: -within your schools -between schools --with external agencies Learning Community Focus on teachers, students and the interaction between them - get into the learning environment Relationships
  23. 24. What’s the smallest change that could make the biggest impact?
  24. 25. <ul><li>Identify where you are at now - what you can change or influence. </li></ul><ul><li>Once you know this aim to close the gap between what you know and what you do. </li></ul><ul><li>Build shared knowledge and understanding to gain commitment. </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate practices that don’t align. </li></ul><ul><li>Make small, powerful changes that translate the vision into action… </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s what you do that matters, not what you call it.” </li></ul>How do we get started? Eaker, DuFour & DuFour (2004)
  25. 26. Reference List Boyd, S. (2005). Teachers as lifelong learners. A paper presented at NZARE, Dunedin, 2005. NZCER: New Zealand. Downloaded from Eaker, DuFour and DuFour, 2002). Getting Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities. Bloomington, Indiana: National Education Service. DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R. & Many, T. (). Learning by doing: A handbook for professional learning communities at work. Bloomington: Solution Tree. Robinson, V. & Lai, M.K. (2006). Practitioner research for educators: A guide to improving classrooms and schools. Australia: Hawker Brownlow. National College of School Leadership and Louise Stoll - pdfs can be downloaded from Timperley, H., & Parr, J. (2004). Using evidence in teaching practice: Implications for professional learning . Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett. Timpereley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H., & Fung, I. (2207). Teacher professional learning and development: Best evidence synthesis iteration (BES). Wellington: Ministry of Education. Can be downloaded from McKinsey Report (2007). How the world’s best performing school systems come out on top. Can be downloaded from Other researchers/writers to explore include - Lorna Earl. Andy Hargreaves, Karen Seashore Loiuse, Bill Mulford and Jan Robertson.
  26. 27. <ul><li>It’s not just about what students are taught… </li></ul><ul><li>it’s about ensuring that they learn </li></ul><ul><li>- no matter who their teacher is. </li></ul>
  27. 28. Learning uncomfortable enough to keep you on your toes Learning comfortable enough to engage with it - Wenger