How closely is our focus linked to teaching and learning? How closely is our focus connected to the needs of the students?Can PLC teams describe what they intend “to do”?
It could be as simple as one member of the group doing some reading and telling the rest of the group about it. It could be as complicated as the whole group setting up a cross-phase research project
Alma Harris Caernarfon
International Professional LearningCommunities (iPLC) Professor Alma Harris November 2011
International Professional LearningCommunities Enhancing the power and potential of professional learning Engage in mutual enquiry, focused collaboration and reciprocal learning With and from other countries around the world.
The Challenge (SEF 2008)To transform theeducation system so thatwe ensure success foreach student in eachsetting(Harris, 2008)
School Effectiveness Framework Professional Learning Communities within, between and across Schools (SEF, 2008)
A Professional Learning Community is created• When a group of professionals collaborate and enquire in order to improve learner outcomes• The ultimate goal of a PLC can be summed up in three words: improved learner outcomes.
Beth yw CDP? What is a PLC?Mewn Cymunedau Dysgu Proffesiynol mae addysgwyr yn• ymrwymo i weithio’n gydweithredol• cyfranogi mewn penderfyniadau• meddu ar synnwyr o bwrpas• derbyn cyfrifoldeb ar y cyd am ddeilliannau eu gwaithProfessional learning communities are where educators• engage in collaborative work• participate in decision making• have a sense of purpose• accept joint responsibility for the outcomes of their work
What is a PLC?A PLC Not a PLCGroup of professionals working as a team to address specific Formally established or existing group with a continued focuslearner needs arising from the analysis of data/evidence. on a theme, subject or topic.Chooses the focus of enquiry and the membership of the Prescribed focus and membership (e.g. a working party is givengroup. its task or brief).Imperative to generate new ideas and new practice. Expectation of sharing of existing knowledge, information or practice.Operates within a clear cycle of action enquiry. Enquiry is not an expectation.Leadership is widely distributed and the group chooses its own There is a designated or pre-existing leader of the group.facilitator.Each member is accountable for the outcomes of the PLC – One person is responsible for producing minutes, sharing thethere is reciprocal accountability. outcomes, reporting etcDisbands and reforms with a new focus on enquiry and Continued membership and work of established group ischanged membership. ongoing.Assesses its impact directly on learner outcomes and has a Engages in reporting and written dissemination.responsibility to share these outcomes with others.Independent and Interdependent learning Dependent learningReflection upon individual and collective learning based onevidence.Community of Learners Co-operative Participants
Nodweddion CDPCharacteristics of a PLC Wedi ei hysbysu gan ddata Data informed Arweinyddiaeth Dosranedig Distributed Leadership Ffocws ar Anghenion y Dysgwr Focused on Learner Needs Rhoi sylw i Addysgeg Attention to Pedagogy Cael ei yrru gan ymholiad – deilliannau’n arwain at newid mewn ymarfer Enquiry driven- outcomes lead to change in practice
National PLC Model 1.Sefydlu’r Grŵp/ Establish the Group 7. Rhannu 2.Adnabod Ffocws/ Deilliannau/ Sharing Identify a Focus OutcomesYmestyn SefydluExtend Establish 6. Mireinio/ 3. Ymholiad Gweithredol/ Refining Action Enquiry 5. Treialu ac Adborth 4. Cyflwyno a Newid/ / Trialling and Innovation and Feedback Change Ymholi Enquire
Phases 1 and 2Using data to identify a specific focus for the PLC
How do you start?Use data to identify a particular issue or problem for a group of learners Establish a team to enquire into ways of overcoming this issue or problemAgree a set of enquiry or research activitiesIdentify a group facilitator
What Data?• Core Data Sets• Assessment Data• Performance Data• Class/Year Group Data• Test Data
Use DataTo identify a specific learner needs i.e.• Reading comprehension with a group of boys in year 6• How do we improve the reading comprehension of boys in year 6?
PLCs• Start and End with Data• Without data you cannot gauge the impact of your PLC on learner outcomes
FAQs• How long should a PLC last?• The life cycle of a PLC is determined by the depth of enquiry that the team is expected to undertake but lasts no more than a year as each year the cohort of students change and by association the issue/focus relating to those learners will also change.• How many people should be involved in a PLC?• Ideally there should be no more than six to eight participants in a PLC as this ensures effective contribution from all participants. Any less than three to four staff means there might not be sufficient depth and challenge within the team.• Should the headteacher be involved in a PLC? The headteacher has to initially be a participant in a PLC in order to a) in order to fully understand the PLC process b) to be able to support subsequent PLCs within the school- However when PLCs become a natural way of working within the school, the head takes responsibility for ensuring their work is reflected and embedded in the annual self evaluation and school development planning cycle.
Summer Term School Self Evaluation identifies learner needs Clear focus of Assessing enquiry Impact of PLC agreedSpring Term PLCs: Links to SDP Ongoing Collaborative Collection of Action data and Research evidence Trialling new strategies: Refinement of practice Autumn Term
FAQ What is the Role of Facilitator?• Links the work of the PLC with the school leadership team• Develops an action plan for the PLC team• Feeds into planning of school development plan• Oversees effective communication, monitoring and co- ordination processes.• Ensures appropriate links with other schools are formed• Monitors development of new knowledge and transfer of practice• Consults children about the success of their learning arising from the PLC work.
Ask, Reflect and Question • What research is there on…? • Other teachers practice • Where do we get more information? • Agree what PLC members will do before the next meeting
Methods of enquiry/researchPeer ObservationLesson StudyLearning WalksVisits to other schools
Phase 4 New strategies and approaches are trialled by the PLC team
FAQs• What if the PLC goes off at a tangent? This is where the role of the facilitator (internal and external) is crucial to ensure that the PLC team remains focused and enthused.• What if the focus is too broad? If the focus is too broad then the group has to continually refine until it is precise enough for the group to address. So for example, improving literacy is too broad and presents too big a task for a PLC.• Where does the time come from? Schools allocate time and resources at different times of the year according to need. For example, use of staff development/CPD/ money to support school visits, use of dedicated in service training time for PLC work and the abandonment of other meetings in favour of PLC meetings.
Phase 6Practice and Phase 6embed newstrategies
Phase 7 1.Sefydlu’r Grŵp/ Establish the GroupPLC team reports 7. Rhannu Deilliannau/ 2.Adnabod Ffocws/ Sharing Outcomes Identify a Focusfindings andrecommendations toall staff / governors 6. Mireinio/ 3. Ymholiad Gweithredol/PLC team shares Refining Action Enquiryoutcomes with otherschools 5. Treialu ac Adborth / 4. Cyflwyno a Newid/ Trialling and Feedback Innovation and Change
FAQ• How is enthusiasm maintained after several iterations of PLCs? Every cohort of students presents a new set of challenges so while the PLC process may be the same the focus will be completely different and will be a new and exciting learning opportunity for staff.
FAQs• Who monitors the work and outcomes of the PLC? The PLC is accountable to the whole school and they have a direct responsibility to share and disseminate their findings regularly. The external facilitator and the management team of the school has a joint responsibility for monitoring progress and the outcomes of a PLC.• How is the impact of a PLC measured? The impact measures need to relate directly to the particular focus or issue that the PLC is trying to address or improve. The impact initially will be in terms of changes in teaching/classroom practices. Subsequently, these changes in classroom/teaching practices should lead to improved learning outcomes which can be measured.
. The Impact of our PLC• Reviewing Evidence• Revisiting Data• PLC reports and updates of progress• External viewpoints and assessments, inspection
Impact of the PLCChange in Learner Outcomes:Change in Professional Practices
Effective PLCs -7 Tests• Clarity of focus• Consistent and creative use of data• Collaboration with purpose• Communication of intent and outcomes• Capacity building through engagement and involvement of others• Coherent action• Change in learning outcomes and professional practice
Extending Across Schools and Heads Teachers Nationally Sustaining (PLC on line) PLCsBetween Schools PLCs within GovernorsNetworks schools Support staff/Clusters of PLCs Across Schools Pupils Internationally (iPLC)
Power of Extended Collaboration• The power of extended professional collaboration is not only seen within PLCs but also in networks, clusters and partnerships.