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  1. PLC By: R. Nat Lunn Principal, Rider High School

  2. Challenges • Developing and applying shared knowledge • Sustaining the hard work of change • Transforming school culture

  3. Traditional Practices & Assumptions Change From Old to New • Schools exist to ensure that students are taught • Schools exist to ensure that all students learn at high levels

  4. Traditional Practices & Assumptions Change From Old to New (cont.) • The fundamental purpose of schooling is to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to their success as ongoing learners • The ability to achieve high levels of learning is reserved for the elite, and that schools serve society best by sorting and selecting students based upon their ability to learn and their likely occupations

  5. Traditional Practices & Assumptions Change From Old to New (cont.) • Summative Assessments (Assessment of Learning) • Formative Assessment (Assessment for Learning) • Identifies students who need additional time and support • Informs teacher practice

  6. Traditional Practices & Assumptions Change From Old to New (cont.) • Compare student performance to other students and rely grade on averages • Compare student performance to mastery of each essential knowledge and skill

  7. Develop Widespread Leadership • Develop leadership potential of all staff throughout the school • Empower and support teacher leadership to improve teaching practices • Develop a culture that sustains improvement despite departures of key individuals. • Move from “if only” to “can do” • Accept the fact that we are part of the problem rather than helpless victims of cultural circumstances

  8. Collaborative Teams Must: • Clarify essential outcomes • Build common assessments • Reach consensus on the criteria by which teachers will judge the quality of student work • Work together to analyze data and improve results

  9. Challenges to Collaborative Teams • Assessments have been left to the discretion of individual teachers rather than developed by a collaborative team • Sharing student results with colleagues is not readily embraced • Assuming responsibility for ineffective instruction as opposed to deferring to differences in student ability • Teacher assumes responsibility for only their own students

  10. Challenges to Collaborative Teams • Easier to work alone than together • Revise staff development • Pursue collective goals of the team, rather than personal interests and agendas • Judging success by results, not activities • Discontinue practices that are not aligned with goals

  11. The Questions • What is it we want all students to learn? • How will we know when each student has mastered the essential learning? • How will we respond when a student experiences initial difficulty in learning? • How will we deepen the learning for students who have already mastered essential knowledge and skills?

  12. Formative Assessment must be: • Timely- teachers and students receive frequent and ongoing feedback on the extent of each student’s learning • Standards Based- they help answer the question: How do we know if each of our students is acquiring the knowledge and skills we intend? Compare student work to standards, not to other students

  13. Formative Assessment must be: (cont.) • Formative- they are used as tools to identify where a student is experiencing difficulty so that the student can receive the time and support until he or she has mastered the skill • Accessible & Shared- teachers can then assist each other in addressing areas of concern

  14. How will we begin to recognize our school is transforming into a true PLC? • Teachers are embracing learning for all as the fundamental purpose of the school • Teachers are recognizing that some students will require additional time and support in order to be successful • The school is developing processes for providing time and support during the school days, on a timely, directive, and systematic basis

  15. How will we begin to recognize our school is transforming into a true PLC?(cont.) • Teachers are shifting their focus from summative assessments to formative assessments • Teachers are comparing each students performance to an agreed-upon standard rather than comparing students to each other

  16. How will we begin to recognize our school is transforming into a true PLC?(cont.) • Teachers are concentrating on each student’s mastery of each essential knowledge and skill rather than relying on averages • Teachers are recognizing the need to work together collaboratively rather than in isolation