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The Professional Learning Community


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The Professional Learning Community

  1. 1. The Professional Learning Community The engine room for change and sustained school improvement Marian College Wednesday 28 January, 2009
  2. 2. Welcome <ul><li>Who we are… </li></ul>
  3. 3. Read first before looking at picture. The attached picture was used in a case study on stress levels at St.Mary's Hospital. Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. Both dolphins are identical. The researchers concluded that a person is under stress if he/she finds both dolphins look different. If there are many differences found between both dolphins, it means that the person is experiencing a great amount of stress. So, if you see too many differences between the two dolphins, you are advised to pack your bag, Go home immediately and take a rest. Have a nice day. 
  4. 5. <ul><li>RULES FOR WOMEN TEACHERS (1915) </li></ul><ul><li>You will not marry during the term of contract. </li></ul><ul><li>You are not to keep company with men. </li></ul><ul><li>You must be home between the hours of 8p.m. and 6 a.m., unless attending a school function. </li></ul><ul><li>You may not loiter downtown in Ice-Cream parlours. </li></ul><ul><li>You may not travel beyond the city limits without the permission of the Chairman of the Board. </li></ul><ul><li>You may not ride in a carriage or an automobile with any man unless he is your father or your brother. </li></ul><ul><li>You may not smoke cigarettes. </li></ul><ul><li>You may not dress in bright colours. </li></ul><ul><li>You may under no circumstances dye your hair. </li></ul><ul><li>10.You must wear at least two petticoats and your dresses must not be shorter than 2” above the ankles. </li></ul><ul><li>11. To keep the school room clean you must: </li></ul><ul><li>sweep the floor at least once daily </li></ul><ul><li>scrub the floor with hot spongy water at least once a week </li></ul><ul><li>clean the blackboard once a day </li></ul><ul><li>start the fire at 7am, so that the room will be warm by 8a.m </li></ul>
  5. 6. Outline <ul><li>A Professional Learning Community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What it is not? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where are we now? </li></ul><ul><li>Why: what the literature says </li></ul><ul><li>Morning Tea </li></ul><ul><li>Getting real – the practical realities </li></ul><ul><li>Where to next ? </li></ul>
  6. 7. WHAT IS A PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY? What is a professional learning team?
  7. 8. Misconceptions…Mythconceptions <ul><li>VISION : </li></ul><ul><li>is it about all of us travelling in the same direction???? </li></ul>
  8. 9. What it is not….
  9. 10. Winners and losers philosophy
  10. 11. Creating and Sustaining Effective Professional Learning Communities Project, 2001-2004 <ul><li>An effective professional learning community has the capacity to promote and sustain the learning of all professionals in the school community with the collective purpose of enhancing pupil learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Co-directors: Ray Bolam, Agnes McMahon, Louise Stoll, Sally Thomas and Mike Wallace </li></ul>
  11. 12. Going beyond show and tell… Beyond bring and brag… What's the difference between talking to each other to share practice and being part of a learning conversation ?
  12. 13. Three types of conversations: <ul><li>Instructional </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>(West Burnham and Otero, 2005) </li></ul>
  13. 14. WHY?????? <ul><li>IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!!!!! </li></ul>
  14. 15. Futures Possible futures - things which could happen, although many are unlikely Probable futures - things which probably will happen, unless something is done to turn events around Preferable futures - things you prefer to have happen and/or what you would like to plan to happen Beare (2001)
  15. 16. <ul><li>Three key change forces influencing schools </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful industrial sector associated with new technologies views education as a market place </li></ul><ul><li>Growing awareness of the need for new approaches to learning and realisation that the only genuinely marketable skill is that of learning itself </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Child power’: children with increasingly less regard for school as it lags behind the society it serves </li></ul><ul><li>Papert (1996) </li></ul>
  16. 17. Role Clarity Supportive Leadership Excessive Work Demands Teamwork Appraisal & Recognition Empowerment Professional Growth Ownership Individual Morale School Morale School Distress Individual Distress 20 24 40 40 33 29 -41 66 30 40 38 56 33 33 47 72 45 44 59 39 -55 -21 30 -42 22 Best Practice Model of People Management Strength of Relationship turn point ## Team Performance Student Outcomes Discretionary Performance Innovation Parent Satisfaction Engaging Clarity Learning Empathy Leadership and Management Culture
  17. 18. What do Teachers Need to Learn? <ul><li>Understanding learning </li></ul><ul><li>Content knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogical understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals of change </li></ul><ul><li>New professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-learning </li></ul>Stoll, Fink and Earl (2003)
  18. 19. No single teacher knows, or could know, the totality of the staff’s professional knowledge. David Hargreaves, 1999
  19. 20. Major sources of variance in student’s achievement Ref: John Hattie
  20. 21. Sources of influence on teachers professional practice
  21. 22. PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY IMPLEMENTATION RUBRIC (NCSL - BOOKLET 8) <ul><li>Complete the rubric - individually </li></ul><ul><li>Identify one aspect that you think is significant for your team </li></ul><ul><li>Share this with the group </li></ul>
  22. 23. Capacity . . . is a complex blend of motivation, skill, positive learning, organisational conditions and culture, and infrastructure of support. Put together, it gives individuals, groups and, ultimately whole school communities the power to get involved in and sustain learning. Stoll, Stobart et al (2003)
  23. 24. Are You Part of a Professional Learning Community? <ul><li>“… the most promising strategy for substantive school improvement is developing the capacity for school personnel to function as a professional learning community (PLC).” </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Eaker, Richard DuFour, and Rebecca DuFour, Getting Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities </li></ul>
  24. 25. What causes student achievement? <ul><li>The data from our studies suggest that where there is a high degree of teacher and leadership efficacy , the gains in student achievement are more than three times greater than when teachers and leaders assume that their impact on achievement is minimal. (Reeves, 2008, p. 5) </li></ul>
  25. 26. What is expected gets inspected… <ul><li>Schools with the highest scores on monitoring showed more than five times the gains in achievement compared to schools with the lowest scores on monitoring. The schools with the best scores on monitoring in our study were able to provide frequent feedback to their colleagues in a constructive manner. (Reeves, 2008, p.5) </li></ul>
  26. 27. Are You Part of a Professional Learning Community? <ul><li>“ Quality teaching requires strong professional learning communities. Collegial interchange, not isolation, must become the norm for teachers. Communities of learners can no longer be considered utopian; they must become the building blocks that establish a new foundation for America’s Schools.” </li></ul><ul><li>National Commission on Teaching, 2003 </li></ul>
  27. 28. A collaborative venture… <ul><li>“ Isolation is the enemy of learning. Principals who support the learning of adults in their school organize teachers schedules to provide opportunities for teachers to work, plan, and think together.” </li></ul><ul><li>NAESP, Leading Learning Communities: Standards for What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do </li></ul>
  28. 29. Characteristics of professional learning communities <ul><li>Shared values and vision </li></ul><ul><li>Collective responsibility for pupil’s learning </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective enquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration focused on learning </li></ul><ul><li>Group as well as individual professional learning </li></ul><ul><li>Openness, networks and partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive membership </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual trust, respect and support </li></ul>
  29. 30. MORNING TEA
  30. 31. GETTING REAL: MAKING IT HAPPEN <ul><ul><li>GOAL SETTING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS -PROTOCOLS </li></ul></ul>The Professional Learning Team The Professional Learning Community
  31. 32. Three ways of responding to change (Modified Tye, 2000) <ul><li>COPING </li></ul><ul><li>Limit selves to managing </li></ul><ul><li>Survival mode </li></ul><ul><li>Directive leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Directives outside the school </li></ul><ul><li>2. REACTIVE –CHRISTMAS TREE SCHOOLS (Bryk et al, 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Aware of trends </li></ul><ul><li>Indiscriminate goals set </li></ul><ul><li>(Bryk et al, 1998) </li></ul>
  32. 33. GOAL FOCUSED !!!!!!! <ul><li>Select a few reasonable goals </li></ul><ul><li>Establish priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Ignore or manage other pressures </li></ul>
  33. 34. Marian College LEARNING AND TEACHING ACTIONS - 2009 <ul><li>To continue to work at implementing a curriculum underpinned by Habits of Mind as Thinking, Personal Learning and Interpersonal strategies. (Years 8 – 10) </li></ul><ul><li>To investigate the embedding of the Habits of Mind into the curriculum. (Year 7 Focus – implementation 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>To showcase approaches to Habits of Mind at Curriculum and staff meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>To showcase student work at team and staff meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>To develop and implement Student achievement and Consolidation policy </li></ul><ul><li>To introduce the Student of the Term and Semester Academic Excellence Award </li></ul><ul><li>To review the current curriculum structure and design proposed new Curriculum Program structure (Years 7 -10) </li></ul><ul><li>To integrate ICT across the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>To investigate the National Curriculum’s impact on Marian College. </li></ul>
  34. 35. Developing effective goals = understanding priorities <ul><li>How do you know what matters ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is high leverage? </li></ul><ul><li>What could be collapsed ? </li></ul><ul><li>What could be rested ? </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of a secondary school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A passion for teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>intellectual stimulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative combustion </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. Goal setting – advice from the literature <ul><li>THREE WHOLE SCHOOL INITIATIVES </li></ul><ul><li>One goal which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sustains/ reinforces existing practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deepens learning and teaching capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>builds opportunity for risk-taking and innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>builds pool of expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>creates refined performance benchmarks (qualitative and quantitative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two new goals which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>are new </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shift the goal posts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are the implications of this for the Brigidine nature of Marian College? </li></ul>
  36. 37. Structuring team goals? <ul><li>Respecting the role of the adult learner means using time wisely </li></ul><ul><li>(you have been allocated 12 sessions) </li></ul><ul><li>Are goals long term or short term? </li></ul><ul><li>Are goals realistic? </li></ul><ul><li>Are goals specific ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are goals achievable in the next 12 months ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the goals too ambitious? </li></ul>
  37. 38. TEAM GOAL SETTING <ul><li>Work together in your ‘Area Team’ </li></ul><ul><li>Write a team goal that is specific and descriptive </li></ul><ul><li>Consider: </li></ul><ul><li>Is it achievable? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you do this in the next twelve months? </li></ul><ul><li>THE BIG CHALLENGE – HOW WILL YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ACHIEVED THESE? </li></ul><ul><li>HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF IT’S MADE A DIFFERENCE TO STUDENT LEARNING ? </li></ul>
  38. 39. Establishing Protocols = Building “credit in the bank” <ul><li>The altruistic nature of teaching – we all believe we are doing the “right thing and we are all working hard!!!” </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers invest “emotional labour.” (Liz Freeman, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>“ credit in the trust bank” (Covey, 1995) </li></ul>
  39. 40. The most challenging feature – team work <ul><li>“ The one area that was the most difficult to carry out for business and education leaders was developing and sustaining teamwork.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Hay Management 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>FIVE CONDITIONS FOR EFFECTIVE TEAM WORK : </li></ul><ul><li>Real team </li></ul><ul><li>Compelling direction for work </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling structure </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive organizational context </li></ul><ul><li>Expert coaching </li></ul><ul><li>(Hackman 2002 ) </li></ul>
  40. 41. Two important categories to consider <ul><li>1. PROTOCOLS RELATED TO OUR LEARNING </li></ul><ul><li>We will come to meetings prepared. </li></ul><ul><li>We will complete tasks between meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>2. PROTOCOLS RELATED TO PROFESSIONAL REGARD FOR OTHERS.. </li></ul><ul><li>We will begin each meeting on time. </li></ul><ul><li>We will make these 12 meetings a priority and commit to them in our calendars. </li></ul><ul><li>We will engage respectfully but honestly with colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>We will set an agenda at the end of each meeting for the following meeting. </li></ul>
  41. 42. WRITING TEAM PROTOCOLS <ul><li>Work together in your teams </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm write protocols which will focus on both: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How you will learn together? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How you will show collegial respect for one another? </li></ul></ul>
  42. 43. Resolving Tensions - Problem Solving Strategy <ul><li>PROTOCOLS </li></ul><ul><li>We will come to meetings prepared. </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.. </li></ul><ul><li>We will have read pre-reading material </li></ul><ul><li>We will complete assigned tasks.. </li></ul>
  43. 44. Implementation dips = learning dips <ul><li>Natural part of change/improvement cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Part of The Knowing/Doing gap </li></ul><ul><li>(Pfeffer & Sutton, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Ebb/flow model – respect peak learning time (Jarni 2005) </li></ul>
  44. 45. <ul><li>Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. </li></ul><ul><li>We are the change that we seek. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  45. 46. FINAL THOUGHTS… <ul><li>“ Our schools can be wonderful places of enchantment and creativity, opening doorways to new ways of perceiving, new ways of being; but they are most of all places of exquisite hope in the possibility of people… this means we have to choose what is seen to matter and then go out and collectively begin to move towards achieving it..” </li></ul><ul><li>(Clarke in Stoll, Fink & Earl 2002) </li></ul>
  46. 47. References <ul><ul><li>National College for School Leadership website: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hattie, J. Teachers Make a Difference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the research evidence? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reeves, D.(2008) Leadership and Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monograph Series 43, ACEL </li></ul></ul>
  47. 48. STEP OUT OF THE BOX (EXAMPLE ONLY!!!) <ul><li>GOAL ONE : PROMOTING CAPACITY FOR DEEP THINKING (STUDENTS AND TEACHERS) </li></ul><ul><li>To investigate the embedding of Habits of Mind in the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>To implement the Thinking domain into all aspects of the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>GOAL TWO : ENHANCING PEDAGOGY (STUDENT FOCUS) </li></ul><ul><li>To develop inquiry-based units of work (rich assessment tasks/essential questions/open-ended) </li></ul><ul><li>To develop strategies that extend high achieving students </li></ul><ul><li>To continue to integrate ICT into curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>GOAL THREE: EMBEDDING RICH PRACTICE </li></ul><ul><li>To continue to improve literacy </li></ul><ul><li>To continue to improve numeracy </li></ul><ul><li>To explore ESL in the mainstream </li></ul><ul><li>To use Principles of Learning and Teaching as a reflection tool </li></ul>