Article

Professional Learning Communities

Stephanie Knight and Amy Ricketts

in Education

ISBN: 9780199756810
Published online November 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0134
Professional Learning Communities

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  • Education
  • Organization and Management of Education
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Since the turn of the 21st century, the topic of communities of learners has spawned a number of journal articles, books, workshops, and presentations within education. Often, educators who form a group to learn together are labeled a professional learning community (PLC). While definitions of a PLC differ depending on the various authors’ orientations, for the purposes of this article, all groups of educators that focus on collaborative learning to improve teaching practice, student learning, and/or learning environments, or to transform beliefs about teaching, learning, schooling, or students, will be considered to be under the umbrella of the concept of PLCs. As such, they share certain common attributes—a focus on learning of the organization or on learning of educators and/or their students, a culture of collaboration, and shared activity to address their learning goals. However, the type and focus of the activities of PLCs are varied. Different activities include those that focus on analysis of student work, lesson study groups, collaborative teacher research, and video analysis, among others. Since learning and the development of community are so important within PLCs, the processes that are related to their enhancement or hindrance are of primary importance to those who implement and study PLCs. In particular, collaboration and conflict in the development of community, issues of identity formation, and the development of an appropriate stance toward inquiry into practice all play important roles in establishment of successful PLCs.

Article.  5213 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Organization and Management of Education ; Philosophy and Theory of Education ; Schools Studies ; Teaching Skills and Techniques

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