South Gippsland Theory of Action (Research from Elmore, Hopkins & Care /GriffinA Culture of Collaboration focussed on student learningInstructional Leadership to understand effective teaching and learningDevelop network approachesUse observation and evidence to inform instructionKotter, J Sensible VisionElmore, R 2006 Leadership as the Practice of Improvement, Pg 21 The model of leadership that emerges from the practice of improvement has three important characteristics: (1) It focuses on the practice of improving the quality of instruction and the performance of students; (2) It treats leadership as a distributed function rather than as a role-based activity; and (3) It requires more or less continuous investment in knowledge and skill, both because the knowledge base around instructional practice is constantly changing and because the population of actual and potential leaders is constantly depleting and replenishing itself. In this view, leadership is a knowledge-based discipline. The practices associated with leadership exist independently of the people who use them, and they are subject to constant testing against the rigors of practical work and evidence of effectiveness. Leadership does not inhere in the personal characteristics of the individual; it inheres in the knowledge, skill, and behavior of the individual..............The model of leadership that applies to continuous improvement is one in which the system is constantly investing in the capacity of people at all levels to master and lead the improvement of instructional practice. Pg 21David Hopkins, 2007
The Pattern Block PLT was introduced at the 2010 Coaches Conference by Leanne ? Doing a Doctorate on this workIt has the potential to fast track a shared mental model of what a PLT looks like. We first constructed the PLT as it currently operates, and then what we’d like ot to look like in 18 months time. Then we action planned the strategies we might need to put in place to get to the goal. Only one team member has done the Griffin program, so this was an effective way to bring back the learning and develop a shared understanding. It has been modelled back in some school teams with teachers.
Neil has talked about the work of his PLT at a school level. This work is underpinned by an informed leadership who understand the value of the work and willing to resource and support regular meetings. The PLT work sits within the instructional leadership vision of the principal.
A major part of my role as a coach is supporting team leaders and coached teachers within the team to build their skills in observing student learning and collecting evidence of that learning. Modelling teaching and asking teachers to use a proforma to collect evidence of student learning is one approach that is working well to develop these skills.
Building the support and trust within the team for this approach is very important for it to be seen as valuable. Data from classrooms of teachers within the team sets the context for the work. Teachers can start to see students as “our students” not my students. Team teaching is often suggested as a strategy for trialling a new approach or task, building the planning and collaboration amongst teachers in the team.
Often teachers in the team demonstrate these assumptions when they first form a team. We need to take some time to develop shared ways of working collaboratively so everyone in the team owns the work. The structure of the PLT cycle supports this.
Principals in the network have done a lot of work in instructional rounds to identify problem of practice. The next level of work might be around what do we do about it. This PLT process supports this work, and can be linked to this work. The Maths team work might be a useful conduit for this next level of work in schools.
This model is powerful but it needs to be part of the overall school vision. A PLT cannot work effectively in isolation from the school environment in the long term. Hopefully this presentation has promoted why we think this approach is so useful, and given leadership teams some ideas around developing and embedding the sustainability of this practice in the maths team in your school, and what could be done to grow this practice across other teams in the school.
What is a PLT?Presentation to KSC staffFeb 3rd 2011<br />Naomi Coleman, Teaching and Learning Coach<br />
An agreed and shared vision for South Gippsland Optimal experience for every student in every classroom in every school<br />
Professional Learning Team (PLT)<br />focus on teachers learning together to improve student learning<br />Collaborative – our kids<br />Investigative – what might work best, what will we try?<br />
PLT structure<br />Ideally the PLT should <br /><ul><li>have 4 to 6 members
base decisions on evidence not inference</li></li></ul><li>Learning is developmental<br />idea of developmental learning underpins PLT practice<br />Instead of thinking what can’t this student do, or what is this student getting wrong…<br />we look at what can this student do<br />What is the next level of learning for this student and other students like this one<br />
Using work samples as data<br />Each cycle the team brings an agreed work sample as evidence of student learning<br />One student work sample is selected to look at deeply… what is the evidence of this student’s current level?<br />Who are other students at a similar level – find work samples that match<br />
Year level PLT focus<br />May be a place for <br />improving literacy across the curriculum <br />focusing on problem solving across the curriculum<br />specific HRLTS (John Munro) that will improve learning, <br />using higher order thinking skills and questions based on Instructional Rounds feedback (problem of practice)<br />
Structure of fortnightlyPLT meetings<br />1. Group check in: (brief)<br />What learning have you observed in your classroom of the content area focus in the last fortnight? <br />2. Work samples:<br />Look at a work sample and discuss evidence of learning in the selected content area<br />
3. Identify “like students” and record <br />What is the next level of learning for these students?<br />What strategies might work?<br />How will we know they have moved on?<br />What resources might we need?<br />What tasks will we all agree to use?<br />4. Record on learning log <br />identify evidence to bring to next meeting.<br />
5. Identify new teacher knowledge needed<br />If the team is stuck, it may mean that professional learning is needed.<br />Readings, research, VELS – links to the continuum, exploring rich tasks, using assessment tasks to look into what our students can do, and their next level of learning, then researching teaching approaches to support these students<br />Classroom observations/ modelled teaching<br />
Work Samples<br />Teachers bring agreed work sample to meeting (possibly pre-assessment task )<br />Teachers share work samples across all classes using agreed process (eg: rubric)<br />Select a group of like students and examine evidence of what students can do, are on verge of doing<br />
Role of team leader<br />Help develop a shared understanding of an effective PLT<br />Be a co learner with the team<br />Mapping out team goals<br />Establishing team meeting schedules <br />Providing a structure for meetings including the PLT log<br />Developing an action plan to support the team’s learning<br />
Role of team members<br />Be positive and try to support the learning of everyone in the team<br />Trust the process even if at the moment you are a bit sceptical<br />Bring agreed work samples and commit to meeting schedule<br />
A sustainable approach to PLTs in South Gippsland Secondary Schools<br /><ul><li> Having a common approach across all schools in the South Gippsland Region is a powerful strategy
Team leaders meeting regularly across schools helps to develop leadership skills and promote collaborative learning and provides opportunity to practise PLT skills</li></li></ul><li>A vision for effective PLTs<br />
Supporting the work of PLTs<br />How can the coach support this work?<br />How can the principal support this work?<br />What systems and structures will support this vision of collaborative teams working to improve student learning?<br />
Developing beliefs about evidence<br />How do we develop the language of evidence?<br />What questions and scaffolding techniques support teachers to gather evidence in their classrooms?<br />
Evidence not inference<br />How do we know that students are learning what we are teaching?<br />Helping teachers identify inferences they make through classroom observations and coaching conversations<br />Developing teacher skills in collecting evidence of student learning through proformas<br />
A proforma for observing student learning<br />
From evidence to developmental learning<br />Developing a shared language around evidence builds skills in collecting evidence<br />Evidence of student learning is a powerful tool for exploring the different learning needs of students in a classroom <br />So what’s the next level of learning for that student?<br />
Using data to inform practice<br />Data from teachers own classrooms is a powerful strategy to support teachers to develop a shared mental model of learning on a continuum<br />Identifying the range of learning needs from a work sample helps teachers see the need for differentiation in their classrooms<br />The collaboration of the team builds support for trying new teaching strategies<br />
Exploring teachers’ ZPD<br />Through coaching we can explore assumptions teachers have about student learning<br />Deficit model or developmental model<br />Teaching leads to learning – how do we know a student has learnt what we have taught<br />Assessment is a score on a test used for reporting<br />This PLT model helps teachers to reflect on and develop their practice and challenge existing beliefs<br />
The role of the learner in our classrooms<br />What type of learners do we want to have in our classrooms?<br />What do we allow our students to make say do or write?<br />This PLT model will support the work of instructional rounds by providing a forum for developing strategies around a problem of practice. <br />
Teams owning the work<br />This PLT model will work if <br />is supported by school leadership teams and resourced<br />it is owned by the teachers involved (their data, their students, their classrooms)<br />it has an effective team leader who is committed to the work (team leader may not be the domain leader).<br />