Source: Image light, Public Domain, http://tinyurl.com/p4pfjr7; Image collaboration, Public Domain, http://tinyurl.com/m9e7smk ; Hands and group, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/hands-protect-protection-father-598145/ ; Image of magnifying glass/paper, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/magnifying-glass-pencil-search-97588/; Image of action plan, Public Domain, http://tinyurl.com/mxbclh3; Image for Learning, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/home-distance-learning-courses-364179/
Welcome to a summary for the unit "Evaluate Professional Learning Communities". Congratulations on your completion of all of the lessons within this unit. In this video I will be taking you through the concepts that we've covered throughout all of these video lessons.
First we started the unit off by thinking about your role as a teacher in the question, how can we as teachers better our schools and increase student achievement? We talked about how each student is unique, and each school and district is different. And as teachers, we need to be consistently looking at the question, how can we improve our schools and increase this achievement of our students? It's not something that we can or should do alone, so we looked at professional learning communities and all of the benefits that they can offer teachers and students.
We explored how professional learning communities can create a collaborative environment full of mutual respect for one another. Where teachers can identify and solve problems and address challenges within their classrooms and schools. The first objective of this unit was to analyze the various ways that professional learning communities can be used to improve student performance and enhance teacher effectiveness. We looked at the benefits of collaboration and how it fits in to the professional learning community.
Then we looked at professional learning communities and how they have a shared vision, shared goals, and a focus on continuous improvement. We looked at SMART goals, those goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based or timely. And how these are a great tool for professional learning communities, so that the goals end up being consistent, and responsibility for the process and evaluating progress can be determined. We talked about three types of learning walks, ghost, capacity building and faculty, and how you can use these in your professional learning communities and in calibration of student work.
The next objective of this unit was to develop a professional learning community plan that incorporates technology to increase student engagement and performance. We dove into tools for observing, measuring, analyzing and goal setting, and discussed why and how to focus on this improvement that is continuous. We looked at those PDSAs, the cycles of planning, doing, studying and acting. And I gave you an example of a middle school classroom that had low levels of engagement, and what could be done with a PDSA to help change this and improve this.
The third objective of this unit was to analyze theories, such as social learning theory and adult learning theory, related to the professional learning community. We looked at the questions what are these theories that influence professional learning communities and how can we put this together to best use these ideas in a professional learning community. We looked at social learning theory, the theory of Albert Bandura's, where observation, imitation, and modeling are how individuals learn.
We looked at reciprocal determinism. The idea that everything is influencing each other, in a learning environment especially. Teachers influence students and students influence teachers. We looked at professional learning communities and adult learning theory and how the six principles of this theory are essential to any professional planning or staff training for teachers.
The final objective of this unit was to reflect on how professional learning communities can enhance teacher effectiveness and student performance. We looked at the questions what are the benefits of professional learning communities and how could we maintain the effectiveness of our professional learning communities. We used Marzano's teacher evaluation model, domain four, elements one through six, in looking at those guiding questions and relating them back to professional learning communities.
We looked at the idea of shared leadership and how this idea applies to professional learning communities. These communities offer opportunities for distributed or shared leadership, where all members of the team can work together on an equal level, making decisions together. There's no one leader, but everyone is working equally. This helps establish a group of teachers that can focus solely on the goals of the professional learning community, improving schools and increasing student achievement and engagement.
The objectives in this unit are connected throughout, analyzing the various ways that professional learning communities can be used will give you a solid understanding of what the professional learning community is. You'll deepen your understanding of the professional learning community and the benefits as you learn various theories that are applied to professional learning communities. You will use the information from both of these objectives to develop a plan for a professional learning community yourself. And finally, having a solid understanding of all three of these objectives, understanding the professional learning community, the theories that apply to the professional learning community and of course developing a plan for this professional learning community, will allow you to better reflect on the many benefits of these communities, including school improvement, student achievement and student engagement.
The ideas presented in this unit, you can apply to any environment where learning takes place. The classroom setting, business practice, professional development. It is now the end of the unit, and you should be able to answer the following four 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, thank you for joining me in this unit, evaluating professional learning communities. I hope you found value in all of the lessons throughout this unit. And I hope you're able to use and apply these ideas in your own teaching.