What Is a Professional Learning Community

Topics: Education, Professional learning community, Parti Pages: 4 (1145 words) Published: July 1, 2013
What is a Professional Learning Community?
NaKishia D. Glenn
Gardner-Webb University

Throughout this paper you will be able to gain more knowledge on what a Professional Learning Community (PLC) is. I will explore two different areas: general characteristics of PLCs and the big ideas that are associated with them. I will refer to different types of students throughout this paper. When I mention high achievers I will be referring to those are students whose test scores put them in the top twenty-five percent nationwide amongst their peers; when I mention low achievers I am speaking of those students that perform lower than the median of their peers. PLC refers to Professional Learning Community. S.M.A.R.T Goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results oriented and Time bound goals. Some information is going to be based off of the research done by various authors which will be listed in the reference section.

What is a Professional Learning Community?
PLCs have been around since I began my teaching career (Dec. 2006). I am sure that they were around before that time however, as a student, I was not aware of it. When I was introduced to PLCs I was blessed to be at an elementary school where everyone on that grade level would meet together once during the week (formally) and discuss different strategies to help convey/teach information to our group of students. After a while the meeting began to run a little longer cause some teachers to tune out and stop paying attention. There are a couple of more research based explanations of what a PLC is. However, there is one definition that stood out the most to me: PLCs are a way of working; "a school's professional staff members who continuously seek to find answers through inquiry and act on their learning to improve student learning" -according to Huffman and Hipp (2003), (p. 4). They also go so far as to have you remember/learn that a PLC is "the most powerful professional development and change...

References: Woolf, B.P., Arroyo, I., Muldner, K., Burleson, W., Cooper, D., Dolan, R., Christopherson, R.M., 2010, The Effect of Motivational Learning Companions on Low-Achieving Students and Students with Learning Disabilities, International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Pittsburgh.
Government of Singapore. (2012) Professional Growth. Ministry of Education.  
Gardner-Webb University (2011)Pearson Custom: Education, Executive Leadership in the 21st Century MELS 601 p.25
Huffman, J. B., & Hipp, K. K. (2003). Reculturing schools as professional learning communities. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
DuFour, R. (2004). What is a professional learning community? Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6–11
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