Blog

Clarifying Collective Inquiry

thumb

We received a question about collective inquiry as it relates to professional learning communities. The writer indicated he was confused and wondered if it simply meant the comparison of test scores of the students of a collaborative team. He asked for clarification and… Read more

Motivating Teachers to Collaborate

thumb

I recently responded to the following question regarding how to motivate those teachers who do not fully engage in the collaborative process: Our district has adopted a PLC vision, which is fantastic. Two years ago… Read more

The Role of Support Staff in a Professional Learning Community

thumb

Recently, an assistant superintendent for operations inquired about the role the support staff plays in a district that is committed to functioning as a professional learning community (PLC). While the answer to… Read more

Does This Seem Like a PLC Format?

We recently received the following question: At my school we have two mandatory PLC meetings scheduled per month in the mornings before our contract hours begin. We are in the process of preparing to establish schoolwide intervention… Read more

Should We Adhere to Our District’s Prescribed Curriculum or Engage in the Team Learning Process?

We recently received the following message from a principal: I’m trying to understand the relationship between essential outcomes and a math program. My interpretation is that the math program would support the students’ learning… Read more

A Delicate Dialogue On Data

thumb

Teachers and principals in a number of schools and districts have asked, "How do you have the tough conversation about data without offending teachers?" and "What do you do in response to discouraging… Read more

Questions New Teams Should Consider Early On

thumb

Twice this week we received emails from teachers who were just beginning to work in collaborative teams. One of the first issues they tackled was grading and homework policies, and they immediately . . . Read more

Drilling Deeper in a Professional Learning Community

thumb

The term professional learning communityhas become enormously popular, but the actual practices that form the framework of the professional learning community concept are much less evident in most . . . Read more

Student Grouping in a PLC

We received a message from a school that had concluded assigning students to academic classes based on their ability was the best way to promote differentiated instruction for students. While we . . . Read more

What Is the Role of the Library Media Specialist in a Professional Learning Community?

thumb

Recently we received a letter from library media specialists who objected to one of the proposals we offered to give teachers time to collaborate in our book, Learning by Doing. We suggested that… Read more

Does Preparing Students for Success on High-Stakes Assessments Interfere With Their Learning and Rob Teachers of the Opportunity to Be Creative and Innovative?

thumb

Current Reality: Teachers across the United States often express their concern that too much emphasis is being placed on state tests. In light of the sanctions being applied under NCLB on the basis . . . Read more

Are Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs) Synonymous with Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)?

thumb

Education thrives on acronyms: IEP, UBD, RTI, ESL, SES, LD, NCLB, AYP, API. Sometimes this abbreviated attempt to communicate can create confusion. Recently, we received a query from a high school . . . Read more

How Will We Respond When Students Don’t Learn?

thumb

It is essential to implement both professional learning communities (PLC) and response to intervention (RTI) because these complementary processes are considered research-based best practices to . . . Read more

Who Should Decide the Agenda for Collaborative Team Meetings?

thumb

Our school district is using the book Whatever It Takes as our guide to establishing PLCs. Should administrators tell PLC groupings what to discuss at their weekly meetings, or should the needs of . . . Read more

Moving From a Tradition of Isolation to a Culture of Collaboration

thumb

Some faculty and staff may undoubtedly have a difficult time moving from a culture of isolation into learning communities. How may other faculty and staff help these professionals make that . . . Read more