Elliott Seif is the author of Teaching for Lifelong Learning: How to Prepare Students for a Changing World.
What are the essential features of professional learning communities (PLCs)?
In many schools today, teachers shut their doors and essentially work alone, providing what they consider to be the best learning possible for their students. While this often gives them the opportunity to provide their students with decent education, it also often gets in the way of creating a collaborative culture in which all teachers work together and each contributes to the larger goal of improving learning for all students. Learning becomes fragmented and segmented when teachers work on their own.
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are designed to counter the separateness of school teaching and learning by creating collaborative teams of teachers who work together to improve learning. The formation of a PLC creates “an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators” (DuFour et al., 2016, p. 10). Read more