Podcast #11 explores Learning Forward’s new Professional Learning Standards, focusing on the first standard – Learning Communities. Our guest today is Shirley Hord, author, researcher, presenter, Scholar Laureate for Learning Forward, a master educator, and an inspiration for many, including me!
Learning Communities: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to:
•Engaging in Continuous Improvement
•Developing Collective Responsibility
•Creating Alignment and Accountability
The purpose of learning communities is the continuous learning of our educators. There are many definitions but THE definition, that is supported by research, is that the adults in the schools are learning, and what they are learning is related to the NEEDS of the students, using data. Plus, teachers are using best practices in every classroom. The learning community is about the adults/educators so they will be prepared to teach all of our students.
The most appropriate context for change is the learning community. Shirley has been described as the vigilante of PLCs. There are six attributes of a PLC, from the research. Teams might want to experience a plc before you label. Are we having dialogue or discussion? We want to focus on the collective responsibility.
What is the biggest misconception of PLCs? Many PLCs don’t understand their purpose. They have been given time, but don’t understand their work. A PLC is a school improvement model. The teacher professionals take a role in improving their own effectiveness, real autonomy.
In learning communities, according to Roland Barth, actions of educators:
•Talking with one another about our practices
•Sharing our craft knowledge
•Observing one another while we are engaged in our practice
•ROOTING for one another’s success
Hord and Sommers share, “As a learning community, ask these questions:
•What are you learning? What is the focus./intent of your group’s learning?
•Why are you learning that?
•How are you learning?
•How are you SHARING with others in your school?
Shirley, thanx for a GREAT dialogue!
People Learn in a Community of Practice!