723,587 research outputs found

    Professional Learning Communities in the Expanded Learning Field

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    This white paper uses twelve evaluation reports of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) initiatives, as well as interviews with PLC participants and facilitators, to better understand how the PLC model is used in the Expanded Learning field, to demonstrate the benefits to participating staff and expanded learning programs, and to share best practices for youth-serving organizations interested in using PLCs

    Facilitating a blended learning community : a collaborative approach to professional learning : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University

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    This thesis has researched the question of "How can blended learning communities be facilitated to support the professional learning of inservice teacher educators?" Inservice teacher educators work to build teacher capability with the ultimate goal of raising student achievement. This relatively small group of people work across large geographical areas and are having increasing difficulty meeting the demands of the teachers. In addition, inservice teacher educators' contact with teachers is often less frequent than is desirable to ensure sustainable shifts in practice. However the growth in internet-based collaborative tools has meant that different ways of communicating are being created at exponential rates. Due to the natural limitations on inservice teacher educators' work, innovative ways of sustaining the professional development they provide are becoming increasingly important. The action research project described in this thesis has investigated one of these innovative approaches; not towards shifting teacher practice but focusing rather on improving the practice of the inservice teacher educators themselves. Five inservice teacher educators known as Isteam (Inservice teacher educators at Massey) formed a professional learning community to investigate the use of blended learning communities which use a combination of both face to face and online learning environments. While this thesis discusses how blended learning communities can be facilitated to support the professional learning of inservice teacher educators, Isteam themselves investigated the potential of using both blended learning communities to support the professional learning of teachers they worked with. Isteam met physically face to face on regular occasions and carried on their learning virtually between meetings through an easily modifiable webpage environment known as a wiki. This thesis discusses how these two environments wove their relative strengths together to build the professional learning of Isteam in ways that far exceeded the possibilities of using one or other learning community on its own. Research findings indicate that blended learning communities require early phases of building knowledge and social relationships, and that developing pedagogical capability relies on these building blocks to be in place first. Blended learning communities worked most effectively to improve the professional learning of inservice teacher educators when the facilitator: 1. Provided a range of online and face to face opportunities for inservice teacher educators to build their professional knowledge and gain confidence and competency in using online collaborative technologies, particularly in the early phases of the community's development. 2. Engaged inservice teacher educators in a range of online opportunities, including non task-related activities, to develop social relationships and get participants 'talking' comfortably online. 3. Challenged inservice teacher educators to use their growing knowledge and social relationships as platforms for critically reflecting on their professional learning and practice issues. As a result of these findings, the inservice teacher educators involved in this research project are now strengthening the communities they have already established to ensure they grow to their full potential, and are mentoring other colleagues to develop their own blended learning communities in response to requests for help. Blended learning communities have piqued the interest of inservice teacher educators at Massey as having powerful potential to embrace the demands of working in the 21st century

    Exploring the idea of professional learning communities

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    Setting professional learning communities in an international context

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    Using professional learning communities to improve online instruction

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    This paper describes a process for working with online instructors to\ud improve the level of instruction and to introduce instructors to new technologies

    On the road: the action learning set (ALS) journey towards becoming a research-engaged school

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    "The full report explores from a leadership perspective one approach to setting up research communities within a school ‚Äď the implementation of a formal approach to action research in a large, challenging inner-city comprehensive school through the use of action learning sets (ALS), sometimes known in educational literature as ‚Äėprofessional learning communities‚Äô." - Page 2

    Teacher agency and professional learning communities; what can Learning Rounds in Scotland teach us?

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    Recently there has been growth in researching teacher agency. Some research has considered the relationship between teacher agency and professional learning. Similarly, there has been growing interest in professional learning communities as resources for professional learning. Connections have been made between professional learning communities and teacher agency, with professional learning communities seen as an affordance for the exercise of teacher agency. However, it has also been argued that there is little detailed evidence of what happens inside professional learning communities or of teacher agency in action. The research reported here focuses on a form of professional learning community from Scotland: Learning Rounds. It uses data from transcripts of post classroom observation conversations to consider the extent to which Learning Rounds provide an affordance for teacher agency and the extent to which that affordance is utilised. This research makes a contribution in three ways: adding to an empirical understanding of what happens in professional learning communities; understanding how teacher agency is (or is not) exercised in practice; considering what factors might affect the utilisation (or otherwise) of affordances for teacher agency. The paper concludes with several recommendations for developing effective professional learning communities as an affordance for teacher agency

    HOLDING THE REINS OF THE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY: EIGHT THEMES FROM RESEARCH ON PRINCIPALS’ PERCEPTIONS OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES

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    Using a naturalistic inquiry approach and thematic analysis, this paper outlines the findings of a research study that examined 12 Manitoba principals‚Äô conceptions of professional learning communities. The study found that these principals consider the development of professional learning communities to be a normative imperative within the educational culture of their schools, yet their understandings of what constitutes a professional learning community, as defined by Toole & Louis (2002) are varied and partially limited. However, the principals suggested that there are eight dominant themes that are central in their conceptions of ‚Äúprofessional learning community.‚ÄĚ The themes are: professional learning communities are about process; structural supports enable the development of professional learning communities; trust as the foundation for adult relationships; congenial relationships dominate conceptions of community; learning is an individual activity; professional teaching is derived from attitudinal attributes; teacher evaluation shapes how principals think about learning in professional communities; and, teacher evaluation impacts principal and teacher relationships in professional learning communities.

    What We're Learning: Building Professional Scholarly Communities in Russia

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    Outlines the foundation's initiatives to strengthen academic innovation and build communities of scholars in Russia by supporting institutes of higher education and research, competitions, and journals. Evaluates varied successes and lessons learned
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