Professional Learning Communities Facilitator, Noelle Burdekin
The Professional Learning Communities (PLC) professional development program supports school leaders to lead the learning of others using disciplined, collaborative inquiry. A key aspect of this program is that the principals are co learners. Throughout the eight modules they work closely with their instructional leaders with inquiry at the heart of how they work.
This approach aligns with the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO). This Improvement Cycle guides how the system and schools plan for whole-school improvement. Research clearly shows high performing systems implement improvement cycles that are built on inquiry processes which provide data-driven and robust approaches to teacher collaboration. This is the essence of the PLC work, teachers learning from and with each other in a focused, disciplined manner. Teachers using this approach use evidence to examine what is going on for their learners. As teachers, what do they need to do more of, or differently and importantly based on the evidence they have collected. The inquiry cycle supports teachers in this process.
PLC is the flagship initiative of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning priority. This initiative is a whole of system approach with over 700 teachers from secondary, primary and specialist settings across the state involved in the training with more involved in 2018 and 2019. As a facilitator in this program I have seen the exciting changes that this process has brought about. Change of any type brings different challenges and this approach is no exception. The program supports the leaders to recognize and manage these challenges. Teachers have embraced the opportunity to work with their colleagues to examine what really works and together develop their collaborative expertise to support the learning growth of all students.
PLC will continue in 2018, commencing in April, with over 300 schools across Victoria participating.