Professional Learning Communities

On June 3, 2012, Al Boerema introduced the issue for discussion:

It is becoming clear that the development of professional learning communities (PLCs) is an essential element of school change and reform. Roland Barth’s article, “Relationships within the Schoolhouse” describes four kinds of relationships: parallel play, adversarial or competitive, congenial, and collegial (Educational Leadership, March 2006: 8–13). The fourth kind of relationship, collegial, is important for the development of professional learning communities. For Barth, the indicators of collegial relationships between staff members are: talking with one another about practice, sharing craft knowledge, observing one another engage in practice, and rooting for another’s success.

Talk about examples of professional learning communities in your school experience, as well as the challenges that stand in the way of moving forward to Barth’s collegial relationships.


On Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Rebecca De Smith responded:

Professional learning communities have certainly been on the educational radar for the past few years. Books have been written about them, educational magazines have endorsed them, and they have increasingly become models for professional development in schools. In my work as both talented and gifted (TAG) teacher and curriculum coordinator, I have experienced the benefits of collaboration with other teachers. Whether we are discussing the need to design an appropriate enrichment program for a student, or whether we are meeting to review and revise curriculum, the wisdom and information gained from colleagues is immense. Schools work better when teachers work together.
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