Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs

A Post written for Edutopia

Modern professional learning links the Professional Learning Community (PLC) with the Professional Learning Network (PLN). Help teachers improve teaching by using both together in powerful ways.

Modern professional learning
In this post on Edutopia, I work hard to connect the research on two methods that have been shown to improve a teacher's teaching ability: the PLC and the PLN. But there are some unique ways these two should be related. Here is the beginning of the article, the rest is here on Edutopia.

An Excerpt from Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLC's with PLN's

Great teaching knowledge dies every day. It retires. It leaves. Perhaps the secret of saving this knowledge lies in a unique melding of two professional learning practices that teachers use today: the professional learning community (PLC) and the professional learning network (PLN). Someone must pass along the knowledge. Someone must “build the craft.” Excellent craftsmanship throughout history often happened in places where large professional networks grew.

The same is true today.

The Professional Learning Community

The PLC has long been a mainstay of excellent schools. Jonathon Saphier(PDF) found:

The reason professional learning communities increase student learning is that they produce more good teaching by more teachers more of the time. Put simply, PLCs improve teaching, which improves student results, especially for the least advantaged students.

Typically a Professional Learning Community is “a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students.”

But this isn't a “book group.” A PLC is made up of “a school's professional staff members who continuously seek to find answers through inquiry and act on their learning to improve student learning.” (Huffman and Hipp 2003)

Why PLCs Are Effective

But, there’s a new element of PLCs and their ability to improve teaching.Matthew Kraft and John Papay (PDF) found…

Read the rest of the article on Edutopia

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