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Article
Teacher professional learning communities : going beyond contrived collegiality toward challenging debate and collegial learning and professional growth
Australian Journal of Adult Learning (2014)
  • Susanne Owen, University of South Australia
Abstract
Professional learning community (PLC) is a current 'buzz' term in business and educational contexts, seemingly referring to anything from decision making committees to regular meeting groups or collegial learning teams. This article explores the concept of a PLC within three significantly innovative schools in one Australian state, based on an examination of the relevant literature and also focusing on surveys and interviews. One school was a primary school, the other two were secondary schools. Findings indicate that, while there is broad consistency across the literature and within the innovative school cases in terms of core PLC elements of shared vision and values, collegiality, joint practical activities and student learning data, teacher inquiry and leadership support and opportunities, there are some pivotal PLC characteristics which heighten the professional learning impact. In the article, using vignettes from the case study schools, these pivotal characteristics are related to developmental phases of PLC establishment. This offers valuable insights about nurturing more learning-focused PLCs, with significant benefits for teacher professional growth and ultimately for student learning. [Author abstract, ed]
Keywords
  • Educational innovation,
  • Learning communities,
  • Primary school teachers,
  • Primary schools,
  • Professional development,
  • Professional learning,
  • Secondary school teachers,
  • Secondary schools,
  • Teachers,
  • Case studies,
  • Primary education,
  • Secondary education
Publication Date
July, 2014
Citation Information
Susanne Owen. "Teacher professional learning communities : going beyond contrived collegiality toward challenging debate and collegial learning and professional growth" Australian Journal of Adult Learning Vol. 54 Iss. 2 (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/susanne_owen/6/