What is a Professional Learning Community (PLC)?
A PLC is autological, meaning that it defines itself. Literally, it is a group of professionals who form a community with the goal of learning. In his article, What is a Professional Learning Community, Richard DuFour identifies three big ideas of each PLC:
- Ensuring Students Learn. The big picture goal is to make sure that the work of the professionals has an important impact on student outcomes.
- A Culture of Collaboration. The process ensures that those with authority and responsibility to positively impact children are the ones who are working through the challenges and solutions. Additionally, there is an expectation that early learning professionals share with, listen to and support one another.
- A Focus on Results. PLC’s are not just about theories or good ideas. They are about exploring strategies, collecting data and drawing conclusions about what actually works.
What Happens in a PLC?
While the work of each PLC can differ, all PLCs have certain features. Members can expect to:
- Meet at least four to six times (typically every week or two) for one-and-a-half to two hours.
- Agree to community expectations (e.g., participation, watching the clock, sharing, listening, etc.)
- Explore ideas and best practices from the field
- Interact in small- and large-group work
- Share examples of challenges and successes from your classroom/program
- Try new ideas
How Do I Get Started?
If you currently work in early childhood anywhere in our region, and you would like to get involved with and/or host a PLC, please talk with your TA or contact Aleta Gass, Professional Development Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 762-685-8119.
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