Professional Learning Communities or PLCs is a unique approach to education that differs considerably from a normal school. It has certain characteristics that include the collaborative work of teachers who are oriented toward the improvement of their students’ knowledge. However, this model can be hard to implement due to specific obstacles such as lack of sufficient funds or proper data analysis.
What are the main characteristics of a professional learning community?
PLC is a special model aimed at changing the usual interaction between teachers in schools. According to Voelkel and Chrispeels (2017), there are three main characteristics of a Professional Learning Community: it is a collaborative, reflective, and, most importantly, inclusive group of people. Thus, it is a community where teachers work together and provide a critical assessment of each other’s work but also collaborate with support staff and other valuable members of the community.
Does the PLC model compromise standardize test performance?
PLC model tends to improve the quality of communication between the teachers and the students. For that purpose, it has to include a wider test performance and formative assessments that will show the student’s level of knowledge and also their ability to understand the program and the teacher’s approach (DuFour, Reeves, 2016). As some may state, such a way of testing will only improve the students’ grades and will help them to understand their subject better.
How do you envision the role of the teacher in a PLC?
A teacher in a PLC model has much more roles than in a normal school. He or she is not only a valuable source of information but also a wise analytic who can reflect on his or her actions. Moreover, the teacher plays an important role as an observer who can observe the work of colleagues and share his or her conclusions.
What are some of the obstacles to constructing a PLC?
There are, of course, obstacles that a PLC model faces; one of them is a lack of funds. Such complex and collaborative work requires a sufficient budget that will allow teachers to use extra time and equipment. Another obstacle is the inability to properly analyze data and hence adequately reflect on the teachers’ work (DuFour, Reeves, 2016). A PLC needs constant reflection that is impossible without a detailed analysis, but most communities do not have enough time or even experience to do it properly.
DuFour, R., & Reeves, D. (2016). The futility of PLC Lite. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(6), 69–71.
Voelkel, R. H., & Chrispeels, J. H. (2017). Understanding the link between professional learning communities and teacher collective efficacy. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28(4), 505–526.