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The Practice of Authentic PLCs
Award-winning author details a clear, research-based process for implementing PLCs to improve student learning. Included are practical strategies, activities, exercises, and troubleshooting tips for coaches.
- Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
- ISBN: 9781412986632
- Published By: Corwin
- Year: 2011
- Page Count: 208
- Publication date: January 11, 2011
"This text illustrates the essence of what it really means to be a teacher—to care deeply and to think and act collectively about student and teacher learning."
—Barrie Bennet, Professor
OISE/University of Toronto, Ontario
"Daniel Venables has made a terrific contribution to the growing effort of teachers to educate ourselves in professional learning communities through protocols that focus our attention on the right stuff. Happily his writing is as accessible as his material is useful and his insights fresh."
—Joseph P. McDonald, Professor of Teaching and Learning and author of The Power of Protocols
New York University
Discover the keys to building effective, authentic PLCs
Creating an authentic professional learning community requires breaking down the walls of isolation and collaborating to improve student learning, because collectively we are more than the sum of our parts. Grounded in the award-winning author's foundational work with the Coalition of Essential Schools, this book enables educators to hit the ground running with a research-based process that includes:
- Setting the foundation for collaboration and team building
- Facilitating protocols
- Examining student and teacher work
- Implementing teacher-designed common formative assessments
- Analyzing and responding to data
Educators will find numerous strategies, activities, exercises, and guidance for PLC leaders, including FAQs and a troubleshooting guide to common obstacles. When teachers are given the time, tools, and power to improve instruction, everyone benefits.
- Details a clear, step-by-step process for implementing PLCs that is both research based AND field-tested that enables educators to hit the ground running.
- Builds on the big ideas and characteristics of authentic PLCs by adding three linchpins of authentic PLCs to help schools narrow the focus into three main tasks of PLCs: Examining student and teacher work; designing and implementing Teacher-designed Common Formative Assessments (CFAs); Analyzing and responding to data (including but not limited to CFA data).
- Includes a chapter for PLC coaches that contains a FAQ section, all protocols and activities referred to in previous chapters, as well as a trouble-shooting guide that addresses common PLC obstacles.
- Offers numerous strategies, samples and tools to help educators establish and engage in the work of PLCs.
Table of Contents
About the Author
The Call for PLCs
Out With Programs, In With People
I. The Context for Authentic PLCs
1. The Business of PLCs
PLCs in Context
The Roles of the Players
2. What to Do First: Building a Foundation for Collaboration
Building the Teams
Establishing Group Norms
Constructing Community Knowledge
II. The Essential Tasks of Authentic PLCs
3. Looking at Student and Teacher Work
Protocols for Student and Teacher Work
Bringing and Examining Work
Summary: Looking at Work
4. Designing Quality Common Formative Assessments
Deciding Assessment Content
Designing Standards-Based Assessments
Alternative Forms of Common Assessments
Scoring and Grading CFAs
Reviewing CFA Data and Planning for Intervention
5. Reviewing and Responding to Data
Reviewing Existing Data
Pursuing Additional Data
Translating Data Into Action
III. Coaching Authentic PLCs
6. Coach's Guide to Facilitating Protocols and Activities
Protocols for Team Building, Norm Setting, and Constructing Community Knowledge
Protocols for Teacher and Student Work and Issues and Dilemmas
Two Facilitator Protocols
Frequently Asked Questions
Summary: Coaching Protocols
7. Troubleshooting Common Obstacles
Common Obstacles and Challenges
A Note to Principals
Summary: Coaching Teachers
Protocols and Activities
References and Further Readings
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"This text illustrates the essence of what it really means to be a teacher; to care deeply and to think and act collectively about student and teacher learning."Barrie Bennet, Professor
OISE/University of Toronto, Ontario
"This book offers its readers practical tools and hard-won insights gleaned from Venables’ extensive experience in the day-to-day work of PLCs. This guide is a valuable resource for seriously creating PLCs that continuously improve teaching and learning for the benefit of all students."Dennis Sparks, Emeritus Executive Director
National Staff Development Council, Ann Arbor, MI
"The book provides a clear roadmap for a member or facilitator of a PLC."Diane Barone, Professor
University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada
"This is one of the most helpful books I have read on developing an effective Professional Learning Community in a school. It will make a distinct contribution to the field."Rosemarie Young, Principal
Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY
"This book offers a practical approach to school cultural change through the implementation of the underlying principles of Professional Learning Communities. Readers are walked through the key developmental stages and processes to change the relationships within the school, and consequently the way the school operates to improve students’ learning."Neil MacNeill, Principal
Ellenbrook Primary School, Western Australia
“Daniel Venables has made a terrific contribution to the growing effort of teachers to educate ourselves in professional learning communities through protocols that focus our attention on the right stuff. Happily his writing is as accessible as his material is useful and his insights fresh.”Joseph P. McDonald, Professor of Teaching and Learning and author of The Power of Protocols
New York University
"This fine pick considers team building, protocols for success, and teacher-designed formative assessments to teach how to respond to data and develop exercises and activities for PLC leaders."James A. Cox, Editor in Chief
The Midwest Book Review, August 2011