A Big Picture Look At Professional Learning Communities

What is a PLC?

“A Professional Learning Community (PLC)  is an ongoing process of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.

PLC’s operate under the assumption that the key to improve learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.”


Three Big Ideas of a PLC

1. Focus on Learning

The fundamental purpose of the school is to ensure high levels of learning for all students.

This focus on learning translates into six critical questions that drive the daily work of the school.

In PLC’s, educators demonstrate their commitment to helping all students learn by working collaboratively to address the following critical questions:

  • What is it we want our students to know and be able to do?
  • How will we know if our students are learning?
  • How will we enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?
  • How will we respond when students do not learn?
  • How will we increase our instructional practice?
  • How will we coordinate our efforts as a school? 

2. Build a Collaborative Culture

  • No school can help all students achieve at high levels if teachers work in isolation
  • Schools improve when teachers are given the time and support to work together to clarify essential student learning, develop assessment for learning, analyse evidence of student learning, and use that evidence to learn from one another

3. Focus on Results

  • PLC’s measure their effectiveness on the basis of results rather than intentions
  • All programs, policies, and practices are continually assessed on the basis of their impact on student learning
  • All staff members receive relevant and timely information on their effectiveness in achieving intended results