The Core Commitments Professional Learning Communities
Definitions of PLCs

Astuto and colleagues (1993): A community of learners in which the teachers in a school and its administrators continuously seek and share learning and then act on what they learn. The goal of their actions is to enhance their effectiveness as professionals so that students benefit.

Dufour and colleagues (2006): Collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve common goals linked to the purpose of learning for all.


Attributes of PLCs

1.Supportive and shared leadership

2.Collective creativity

3.Shared values and vision

4.Supportive conditions

5.Shared personal practice


Outcomes of PLCs for Staff

  • Reduction of isolation of teachers
  • Increased commitment to the mission and goals of the school and increased vigor in working to strengthen the mission
  • Shared responsibility for the total development of students and collective responsibility for students' success
  • Powerful learning that defines good teaching and classroom practice and that creates new knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learners
  • Increased meaning and understanding of the content that teachers teach and the roles they play in helping all students achieve expectations
  • Higher likelihood that teachers will be well informed, professionally renewed, and inspired to inspire students
  • More satisfaction, higher morale, and lower rates of absenteeism
  • Significant advances in adapting teaching to the students, accomplished more quickly than in traditional schools
  • Commitment to making significant and lasting changes
  • Higher likelihood of undertaking fundamental systemic change

Outcomes of PLCs for students

  • Decreased dropout rate and fewer classes "skipped"
  • Lower rates of absenteeism
  • Greater academic gains in math, science, history, and reading than in traditional schools
  • Smaller achievement gaps between students from different background

(Source:  Hord, S.M. (1997). Professional Learning Communities: Communities of  Continuous Improvement. Austin: Southwest Educational Development  Laboratory.