Are There Universities That Teach PLC Principles?
We recently answered an email regarding PLCs in higher education.
I’m a board member for a small district in Wyoming. I’m curious if some colleges teach PLC principles more than others. It would seem to make sense that we should recruit new teachers from those schools as one way to help institutionalize PLC in our district.
We aren’t familiar enough with the programs of the many colleges around the country to recommend particular schools. The best option for a school district is to examine the course requirements of the undergraduate and graduate education programs to see if they offer courses on PLCs, working in collaborative teams, and using common formative assessments.
Your proposal that colleges would prepare students to work in PLCs makes tremendous sense. Unfortunately, most of the PLC premise is contrary to the typical culture in higher education.
- In a PLC, staff must be committed to helping all students learn.
- In universities, there is an assumption that the student is responsible for his own learning and that the college should raise standards for admission and do a better job of screening to keep incapable students out of the program.
- In a PLC, there is an assumption that staff should work collaboratively to ensure all students have access to a guaranteed curriculum.
- In the university culture, personal academic freedom takes precedent, and there is no expectation that courses taught by different professors offer similar content or comparable ways of assessing students.
- In a PLC, assessment is used to inform our professional practice and respond to individual students who experience difficulty.
- In the university culture, assessments are used to assign grades.
Given the tremendous misalignment between the university culture and the PLC concept, I believe most districts will have to create their own programs for orientation to a PLC.