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Introduction to PLCs for SMDGs/ Circuit Managers in Free State, South Africa


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Introduction to PLCs for SMDGs/ Circuit Managers in Free State, South Africa

  1. 1. PLCs, New Wine in Old Bottles? FSDOE-VVOB partnership CPD for SMDGs/CMs Sasolburg, May 12, 2015
  2. 2. Objectives • Where do we want to go? – What are PLCs (and what not)? – Policy on PLCs – Research on PLCs • Where are we now? – Reflection on PLCs – Operational PLCs
  3. 3. In Short Introduction to the WHY, WHAT and HOW of PLCs Professional Working Groups Cluster meetings Subject Committees
  4. 4. Policy Framework: ISPFTED (2011-2025) • Act. 3.3: Establish PLCs to strengthen teacher professionalism – Teachers take responsibility for their own professional development. – Variety of modes and study are available to the teacher, including learning with peers in PLCs. – integrate professional knowledge with the latest research-based knowledge – In the initial stages PLCs will require substantial external input through well-trained facilitators. these facilitators must assist teachers to take control of their own development within a manageable timeframe.
  5. 5. Hurricane Metaphor for Education Reform “ In classrooms both change and continuity unfold in regular, undisturbed patterns. The trend, regardless of what new structures policymakers design, is small alterations over time in stable teaching practices.” Prof. L.Cuban, 2010
  6. 6. What are PLCs?
  7. 7. What are PLCs? What are characteristics of PLCs? What is needed for effective PLCs?
  8. 8. Origin of PLCs • Anthropology (COPs) – Social character of learning – Importance of context in learning – Experiences & reflection • Management literature (PLCs) – Learning Organisation – Knowledge Creating Organisation
  9. 9. Core Elements of PLCs 1. Mutual trust and respect 2. Support challenge and constructive critique 3. Shared vision and focus on learning 4. Collaborative and reflective enquiry 5. Inclusive membership 6. Leadership 7. Collective responsibility for student learning 8. Coherent, responsive change in practice 9. Regularity 10. Systematic, rigorous enquiry into practice
  10. 10. PLCs and Subject Committees
  11. 11. Why PLCs?: Donuts • Statements: – Basically, PLCs are meetings where teachers discuss how the curriculum needs to be taught – The role of circuit managers is to support principals in running well functioning PLCs of teachers within their schools
  12. 12. Why PLCs? PLCs are more than meetings – Sharing resources over tea – Fixed agenda – Top-down
  13. 13. “…you cannot force a plant to grow by pulling its leaves… what you can do is create the infrastructure in which it can prosper.” - Etienne Wenger, 1999 Growing PLCs
  14. 14. Why PLCs? • Positive effects on: – Bridging the gap between theory and practice – Creating spaces for addressing practical issues – Connecting pedagogical practice with subject content knowledge – Student learning – Teacher motivation – Teacher retention & absenteeism – School culture
  15. 15. What happens in a PLC? – Lesson study (incl. lesson plan analysis and micro-teaching) – Error (item) analysis (e.g. ANA questions) – Presentation and discussion of research findings – Video analysis of lesson (fragments) – Discussing strategies for class management – Joined development of teaching resources (e.g. handbook, presentation…) – Action research
  16. 16. Stages in PLC Development Access & Motivation Socialisation Information Exchange Knowledge Construction Developmen t (Reflection)
  17. 17. Group Formation & Leadership Styles Adapted from Tuckman, 1965
  18. 18. HEIs Subject Organisations Roles UnionsSACE Circuit managersPrincipal DBE DTDCs PEDs Teachers
  19. 19. Clarification of Roles DTDC staff Subject Advisors SMGD/ CMs  To advocate PLCs via SACE CPTD Management system  To support PLCs with resources and expertise on e.g. facilitation skills, video analysis, the use of ICT etc.  To function as a hub for exchanging PLC practices within the district.  Encourage (outside) trainers to use PLCs as a follow up to all professional development delivered at or by the DTDC.  To provide annual progress reports of implementation of PLCs to the provincial level.  To develop synergies between PLCs and district subject committees  To motivate and encourage teachers to start and continue PLCs.  To facilitate PLCs (especially in a start-up phase) and then gradually capacitate PLC members to take full ownership.  Use PLCs as a follow up strategy for all CPD.  Actively bring teachers together.  Exchange ideas and act as a link between PLCs, between PLC and experts.  Bring in subject expertise.  Identify needs with teachers that could lead to the establishment of PLCs.  Monitor existing PLCs (together with PLC participants) and liaise the information to the DTDC.  Motivate and encourage principals to form PLCs for principals.  To encourage principals to support PLCs of teachers (as follow up of IQMS).  Encourage (outside) trainers to use PLCs as a follow up to all professional development delivered at or by the DTDC.  Monitor the implementation and impact of PLCs.
  20. 20. Role of the School Principal • Motivating teachers • Guide establishment of PLCs • Monitor functioning of PLCs • Reward well functioning PLCs • Support PLCs by resource allocation, logistics and timetabling • Facilitate sharing among PLCs • Participate in PLC of principals
  21. 21. Leadership Transformational Instructional ReflectiveIntentional Distributed 21 Leadership Styles in a PLC
  22. 22. Questions to ask when starting a PLC • Where do we want to go? • Who is working with us? • What do we want to achieve as soon as possible and what can wait? • What do we need to invest? • What skills do we need to develop before starting? • How will we monitor our progress? • How will we communicate our progress to others? • Who will be the facilitator and what are his/ her tasks?
  23. 23. Questions to ask when starting a PLC • How will we make decisions? • How will we encourage participation? • How and when will we know if we have achieved our objectives? • What do we expect from each member? • Does the project have the support of all stakeholders? • When and how frequently do we meet? • Is there support for scheduling ongoing meetings? (Gather-Thurler, 2000; Koffi et al., 2000)
  24. 24. Questions and Answers Should PLCs replace workshops and trainings outside the school? NO
  25. 25. Questions and Answers Should participation in PLCs be made compulsory? NO
  26. 26. Questions and Answers Are PLCs only for new teachers? NO
  27. 27. Questions and Answers Can PLCs take place at district level? YES
  28. 28. Questions and Answers Are PLCs grade and subject bound? NO
  29. 29. • Members of PLCs should come together at least once a month No, but…
  30. 30. Concluding What are you taking away from this activity?