Useful Research Links

Establishing a Learning Culture Through PLCs

High performing schools and districts know that an effective Professional Learning Community (PLC) is mirrored by student success. Creating an effective PLC most often requires a culture change that embraces a process approach informed by data to promote what is best for our students and school community. Educators who serve their community through clarity of communication and with intentional actions toward high performance find themselves and their students thriving in a strong learning culture. Click the link above to access a Google book preview Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth, and Dilemmas by Louise Stoll and Karen Seashore Louis. The preview includes an excellent introduction to Professional Learning Communities in Chapter 1. Critical questions are explored to include:
  • How are Professional Learning Communities currently defined?
  • Do existing definitions capture the full extent of professional learning communities?
  • Does the existing knowledge base lead us to deep understanding of how to develop professional learning communities?
  • Does the existing knowledge base draw sufficient attention to the challenges of professional learning communities and how they might be addressed?
  • Do existing collections pay sufficient attention to varying national contexts?
This book is an excellent guide for introducing, implementing, and monitoring Professional Learning Communities.
Chapter 1 is the perfect introduction and reflective reading. Click the link above to access a Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) publication, Professional Learning Communities: Communities of Continuous Inquiry and Improvement by Shirley Hord; a PDF printable version is available. The publication provides the educator with a research and design perspective of Professional Learning Communities. The following topics are explored:
  • The Learning Community Evolves
  • Attributes of Professional Learning Communities
  • Outcomes of Professional Learning Communities for Students and Staff
  • Processes for Developing Learning Communities
  • Developing Other Learning Community Configurations
A process approach is provided for developing learning communities inclusive of non-traditional school settings.
There is a section that explores the attributes of Professional Learning Communities. Follow the link above to a six-minute YouTube video that features Rick DuFour’s perspective on the importance of a PLC. Rick notes the website that provides a collaborative and objective resource designed for educators who are committed to enhancing student performance. All Things PLC provides the educator with the opportunity to:
  • “Join The Community” and connect with other PLC practitioners to share insights, tips, and questions
  • Explore “Evidence of Effectiveness” from model learning communities
  • Download, investigate, and explore helpful links through “Tools & Resources”
Administrators: provides administrators with the ability to join a community of other PLC practitioners to collaborate, review evidence of PLC effectiveness, and access tools and resources for PLC implementation, monitoring, and evaluation
This is a collaborative resource for connecting to other educators and reading about how effective PLCs have impacted student performance.