What is a Professional Learning Community (PLC)?
What is a professional learning community? According to Rick and Becky DuFour, it is 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. So what does that REALLY mean? Simply put, a professional learning community is not a passing phase or initiative – it is a commitment. The key words are ongoing and recurring because the concept of a professional learning community is all about the continuous improvement process.
Cedar Falls Schools has been and continues to be committed to working as a professional learning community. Specifically, we accept learning as the fundamental purpose of our schools and; therefore, we are willing to examine all practices in light of their impact on learning. Secondly, we are committed to working together to achieve our collective purpose by cultivating a collaborative culture throughout the district. Finally, we continuously assess our effectiveness on the basis of results. To sum up why it is important for schools to continue the professional learning community process, consider this quote from Dr. Tom Carroll, President of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF).
The era of isolated teachers, working alone to meet the myriad needs of all their students, is neither educationally effective nor economically viable in the 21st century … When teachers are given the time and tools to collaborate, they become life-long learners, their instructional practice improves, and they are ultimately able to increase achievement far beyond what any of them could accomplish alone.
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Board Policy: 406.0 - Professional Learning Community