Modern professional learning

Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs

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.

[callout]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.[/callout]

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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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

John Laskaris @ Talent LMS December 14, 2015 - 3:38 am

Good post, Vicki! I have to admit, you’re right about the lack of new ideas when it comes to learning communities, even if it’s a bit hard to admit.


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