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Introduction to “Evaluating Professional Learning Communities”

Introduction to “Evaluating Professional Learning Communities”

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Author: Trisha Fyfe
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This lesson introduces the core learning objectives relative to Evaluate Professional Learning Communities"

 

 

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Welcome to an introduction for the unit "Evaluate Professional Learning Communities." I'm Trisha Fyfe, and during this video lesson, I will be taking you through a glimpse of the concepts that we will cover throughout this entire unit. Let's start by thinking about this question-- how can we better our schools and increase student achievement?

We'll start by thinking about our role as a teacher. First and foremost is our responsibility to help our students learn. But finding the right path for this learning isn't always clear. Each student is unique. Each school and district is different.

As teachers, we need to be consistently looking at the question, how can we improve our schools and increase student achievement? This is not something that we can or should do alone. Professional learning communities offer so many benefits for the teacher and students. We can use professional learning communities to work together in identifying and solving problems and addressing challenges. We will take a deeper look at professional learning communities and tools and resources for you to use throughout this process.

One objective of this unit is to analyze the various ways that professional learning communities can be used to improve student performance and enhance teacher effectiveness. We will look at the benefits of collaboration and how this fits into the idea of a professional learning community. And we'll discuss the fact that professional learning communities have shared vision, goals, and focus on continuous improvement. We will discuss SMART goals, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based or timely. These are useful tools for professional learning communities to establish consistent goals and determine responsibility for evaluating progress and completion of goals.

The next objective of this unit is to develop a professional learning community plan that incorporates technology to increase student engagement and performance. We will dive into tools for observing, measuring, analyzing, and goal setting, and discuss how and why we should focus on continuous improvement. We will look at why and how to calibrate student work and what this looks like within a professional learning community. We will look at continuous learning and explore a PDSA, where you can use the cycle of planning, doing, studying or reflecting, and acting to work towards school improvement and higher levels of student engagement.

The third objective of this unit is to analyze theories, such as social learning theory and adult learning theory, related to the professional learning community. We will answer the questions, what are the theories that influence professional learning communities, and how can we put all this together to best to use what we know in a PLC, or Professional Learning Community?

We will look at social learning theory and how this theory, attributed to Albert Bandura, applies to professional learning communities. Social learning theory is based on the idea that people learn by observing, imitating, and modeling, all of which can be seen in the professional learning community. We also will look at reciprocal determinism, which essentially is the idea of influence working both ways. Teachers are influenced by and also influence the learning environment and the students.

The final objective is to reflect on how professional learning communities can enhance teacher effectiveness and student performance. We will answer the questions, what are the benefits of professional learning communities, and how can we maintain the effectiveness of our professional learning communities? We will look at Marzano's teacher evaluation model and how this can be used specifically with Domain 4-- Collegiality and Professionalism.

We will evaluate the benefits of professional learning communities with this model. We'll go through each element, 1 through 6, in Domain 4 and look at guiding questions and relate those back to professional learning communities. The objectives in this unit are connected throughout the entire unit.

Analyzing the various ways that the professional learning community can be used will give you a solid understanding of what exactly the professional learning community is and looks like. You will deepen your understanding of the professional learning community and the benefits of these as you learn about the various theories that are connected to professional learning communities. You will use information learned from both of these two objectives to develop a plan for a professional learning community yourself. And finally, having a solid understanding of professional learning communities, the theories that apply to these, and developing the professional learning community will allow you to better reflect on the many benefits of professional learning communities, including school improvement and student achievement and engagement.

The ideas presented in this unit can be applied to any environment where learning takes place. Some of the concepts have been used in business practice since the mid 1900s. And these ideas are essential to the learning environment or classroom.

At the end of this unit, you will be able to answer the following questions. What are the various ways that the professional learning community can be used to improve student performance and enhance teacher effectiveness? How can we develop a professional learning community plan that incorporates technology to increase student engagement and performance? What are the theories that have influenced professional learning communities, and how can we use these to better our professional learning communities? And finally, how can we reflect on professional learning communities and how they can enhance teacher effectiveness and student performance?

Again, I want to welcome you to this unit, "Evaluate Professional Learning Communities." I'd like to invite you to follow my video lessons throughout this unit as we learn in depth about what the professional learning community looks like and what all the many benefits are to yourself as a teacher and to your students.

Notes on “Introduction to Evaluate Professional Learning Communities”

Overview

(00:00- 01:03) Introduction

(01:04- 01:44) Objective 1

(01:45- 02:22) Objective 2   

(02:23- 03:12) Objective 3

(03:13- 03:48) Objective 4

(03:49- 04:49) Connections Between Objectives

(04:50- 05:42) Reflection