Professional Learning Communities
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Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities

After attending a session on Professional Learning Communities,  presented by Mark Greenfelder and Mark Merrell (powerpoint pdf here), I’m left wondering about the flexibility of those communities.  With words like “craft, collaboration, and formative assessment”, I’m sold.  However, I find myself nervous about the focus on data, data, data.

How can PLC’s be utilized to meet the specific needs or specific mission statement of varying schools, school systems, and student populations?

It would seem that PLC’s are infinitely adaptable if we focus on two of Greenfelder and Merrell’s main points: 1. “It’s not about the magic bullet, it is about creating questions together.” 2. Practices exist, silver bullets don’t (a slogan that might give Coors pause).

The basic idea: ask questions and actively explore answers together in order to improve learning.  When used correctly, PLC’s would seem to localize instruction, to tailor the curriculum and instruction to the student population in that school.  And, on its best day, it puts power in the hands of teachers to build on each other’s strengths and take some ownership over their classrooms, teams, schools, and districts.

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