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Teacher professional learning communities in innovative contexts: ‘ah hah moments’, ‘passion’ and ‘making a difference’ for student learning
Professional Development in Education Journal (2015)
  • Susanne Owen, ACER
Abstract
Innovative educational approaches for schooling require changes to the traditional teacher role towards operating as co-facilitators and co-learners, and working in teacher teams, with considerable professional learning supporting this. Professional learning communities (PLCs) have been acknowledged as highly effective, with their characteristics being identified with reasonable consistency. However, specific processes through which PLCs operate are less evident. Furthermore, there is little research about the links between PLCs and student learning outcomes in innovative contexts. This paper uses teacher interviews within three innovative case-study schools, and considers student learning outcomes and the links to teacher learning within PLC contexts from a teacher perspective. Findings provide specific examples of PLC learning processes with regard to co-planning, co-teaching and co-assessment. Using achievement data, student work samples, teacher observations and self-reports, all teachers perceived that PLCs supported changes in their practices relevant to innovative contexts. Teachers indicated increased learning outcomes for students in terms of achievement, social skills, emotional aspects, independence and creativity. Significantly, the overall key impacts arising from effective PLCs operating within innovative contexts seem to be increased well-being of teachers and students.
Keywords
  • Professional learning communities,
  • Student outcomes,
  • Well-being,
  • Innovation,
  • Teacher learning
Publication Date
2015
Citation Information
Susanne Owen. "Teacher professional learning communities in innovative contexts: ‘ah hah moments’, ‘passion’ and ‘making a difference’ for student learning" Professional Development in Education Journal Vol. 41 (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/susanne_owen/32/