If you are reading this, you have likely already heard the term, professional learning community (PLC). In recent years, this term has been used to describe loosely-defined forms of professional collaboration, school team/committee organization, and leadership actions. As such, the term has frequently been misused to describe an ill-defined and often vague concept that many educators have not fully understood and more often, have not known how to implement. Many school leaders believe they have established PLCs, but in reality they have not.
This website is designed to overcome such misconceptions and ambiguous connotations. It describes and shares the work of three researchers with career backgrounds as teachers, administrators, university professors and researchers who have prioritized the professional learning community as our primary research for over 20 years.
It also presents explicit and basic dimensions, or characteristics, of a professional learning community, as well as tried and tested assessments and tools, learning modules, and references to helpful resources. These resources provide guidance on how to assess their schools and districts as learning communities, how to get started, and how to continue creating this infrastructure.
If professional educators agree that the purpose of schools is student learning, they must also acknowledge that the most critical factor in whether students learn well is quality teaching. Quality teaching is increased or improves through continuous professional learning that targets the needs of students. The most productive context for the continuous learning of professionals is the professional learning community (PLC).
This website is intended to clarify the concept of a PLC in the minds of those who are interested in learning more, and who want to work toward developing strong PLC schools, supported by their districts.
Purpose of Website
We have developed this website to assist educators in their attempts to work and learn together to address student needs. Within this website, you will find the following:
- An in-depth description of professional learning community schools and how district actions support their development.
- A collection of our work to inform and assist educators – practitioners (teachers, leaders, and other instructional support personnel), university instructors, and researchers regarding the development and implementation of the professional learning community systemic framework in schools and districts.
- PLC formal and informal assessment tools for use in schools and districts, as well as for dissertations and other research.
- Access to presentation modules, and resources (journal articles, book chapters, and books) for academic research and practitioner information.
- Information on consulting opportunities for professional development related to: PLC learning, leadership development, change management, reculturing schools, and coaching in schools and districts.