Education 590 Project
Master of Education
Major or Concentration
A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is a way of organizing a school environment that builds collaboration with an ultimate goal of improving student achievement. A PLC is a way of involving all stakeholders in life-long learning and focusing on a common goal of gathering and analyzing data to improve student learning. Research has proven that "traditional" methods of school leadership and teaching are stagnant. Many of education's prominent figures are speaking out as proponents for PLCs citing their own personal successes as validation for the change.
A school community that desires to create a PLC must take the necessary steps to prepare for the journey. The school staff must agree upon a vision of where they want to go as well as create measurable and attainable goals that will help them succeed. The foundation for a successful PLC is a community of collaboration in which all stakeholders work together to improve student learning and achievement. Once a school begins the journey towards creating a PLC, stakeholders enter a cyclical process of constant re-evaluation and striving to improve upon areas of weakness.
After conducting initial research, a survey was written and distributed to local school leaders who have been instrumental in the creation of PLCs within their schools. The responses they provided echoed the sentiments of education leaders such as Dufour, Eaker, and Schmoker. With this information, a manual was created as a tool to be used by schools wishing to become collaborative PLC communities.
Belako, Scott W., "Using Professional Learning Communities and Collaboration to Increase Student Achievement" (2007). Student Research Submissions. 218.