Professional Learning Community

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David Spencer's Education Paragon is a free educational resource portal helping David Spencer's secondary school students, their parents and teaching colleagues with understanding, designing, applying and delivering assessment, curriculum, educational resources, evaluation and literacy skills accurately and effectively. This wiki features educational resources for Indigenous Aboriginal education, field trips for educators, Davids Music Jam, law and justice education, music education and outdoor, environmental and experiential education. Since our web site launch on September 27, 2006, online site statistics and web rankings indicate there are currently 1,878 pages and 14,603,137 page views using 7.85 Gig of bandwidth per month. Pages are written, edited, published and hosted by Brampton, Ontario, Canada based educator David Spencer. On social media, you may find David as @DavidSpencerEdu on Twitter, as DavidSpencerdotca on Linkedin.com and DavidSpencer on Prezi. Please send your accolades, feedback and resource suggestions to David Spencer. Share on social media with the hashtag #EducationParagon. Thank you for visiting.


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Professional Learning Community

A professional learning community (PLC) is an extended learning opportunity to foster collaborative learning among colleagues within a particular work environment or field. It is often used in educational settings as a way to organize teachers into working groups. A PLC is seen as an effective staff development team approach and a powerful strategy for school change and possible improvement. Through this commitment and creation of a shared vision the team, including leaders and participants, becomes empowered to work together and achieve goals.

  • According to S.M. Horde, "The benefits of a professional learning community to educators and students include reduced isolation of teachers, better informed and committed teachers, and academic gains for students".
  • “In successful schools, teachers form professional learning communities that focus on student work through assessment.” (Michael Fullan)
  • “Improved student learning and teaching result when teachers collaboratively focus on achievement and assessment, questioning practice, and supporting professional growth.” (Judith Little)
  • “Professional learning communities are indeed the best form of staff development.” (Dennis Sparks)


A Professional Learning Community has five (5) attributes:

  1. supportive and shared leadership
  2. collective creativity
  3. shared values and vision
  4. supportive conditions
  5. shared personal practice


Personal Learning Network

"A personal learning network is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment. In a PLN, a person makes a connection with another person with the specific intent that some type of learning will occur because of that connection." Source: Wikipedia contributors. "Personal learning network." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.

"The PLN (Personal Learning Network) are more aligned with the Social Network approach where learning is emergent and thus would allow for more personal autonomy. " -Sui Fai John Mak


References