Professional Learning Communities at the Classroom Level: Are They Having the Desired Outcome?
ABSTRACT: The application of professional learning communities (PLCs) is a well-known strategy in North American school systems. These communities are meant to bring about school change by having educators work collaboratively to improve student learning. A qualitative study utilizing a case study methodology was used to examine four participants across two sites in order to address how PLCs were being utilized to assist teachers in improving their instructional practices via assessment for learning strategies. Formal interviews, classroom observations, and physical artefacts, were triangulated and the following findings emerged: 1) Time that was provided was not used to discuss student learning. 2) Most participants could not identify any support that was provided. 3) Participants could not identify the “essential” work of PLCs. It is imperative that schools and school districts find away to provide time, within the school day, so teachers can embrace the collaborative work required to improve instructional practices.
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