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Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design

June 2019 | 216 pages | Corwin
What makes a powerful and results-driven Professional Learning Community (PLC)? The answer is collaborative work that expands the emphasis on student learning and leverages individual teacher efficacy into collective teacher efficacy. 

PLC+: Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design calls for strong and effective PLCs plus—and that plus is YOU. Until now, the PLC movement has been focused almost exclusively on students and what they were or were not learning.  But keeping student learning at the forefront requires that we also recognize the vital role that you play in the equation of teaching and learning. This means that PLCs must take on two additional challenges: maximizing your individual expertise, while harnessing the power of the collaborative expertise you can develop with your peers. 

PLC+ is grounded in four cross-cutting themes—a focus on equity of access and opportunity, high expectations for all students, a commitment to building individual self-efficacy and the collective efficacy of the professional learning community and effective team activation and facilitation to move from discussion to action. The PLC+ framework supports educators in considering five essential questions as they work together to improve student learning:  
  1. Where are we going?
  2. Where are we now?
  3. How do we move learning forward?
  4. What did we learn today?
  5. Who benefited and who did not benefit?

The PLC+ framework leads educators to question practices as well as outcomes. It broadens the focus on student learning to encompass educational equity and teaching efficacy, and, in doing so, it leads educators to plan and implement learning communities that maximize individual expertise while harnessing the power of collaborative efficacy.

List of Videos
About the Authors
So What Is a PLC?  
The Story Behind PLCs  
Adding the Examination of Teaching Practice to the PLC Story  
The Five Key Questions  
What You Will Find in This Book  
1. PLC+: The Plus Is YOU
Teacher Credibility and Efficacy: The Foundation of the Strong PLC+  
Facilitating Collaboration: Making the Plus Count  
Building Collective Efficacy  
The Hope for the PLC+  
2. Question 1: Where Are We Going?
The Story Behind the Question  
A PLC+ Team in Action  
Analyzing the Standard(s)/Curriculum Expectations  
The Role of Teacher Clarity in “Where Are We Going?”  
Developing Learning Intentions and Success Criteria  
It’s Not Just High School English  
Moving Beyond a Single Day  
Autonomy in Teaching  
The Professional Learning of a PLC+  
3. Question 2: Where Are We Now?
The Story Behind the Question  
A PLC+ Team in Action  
Deficit Thinking  
Initial Assessments  
Analyzing for Equity Gaps  
Data Collection  
Data Analysis Protocols  
Addressing Bias in Data Collection and Analysis  
Identifying the Common Challenge  
4. Question 3: How Do We Move Learning Forward?
The Story Behind the Question  
A PLC+ Team in Action  
Evidence-Based Instructional Practices  
Assignment Analysis  
Compensatory and Adaptive Approaches  
Moving Teacher Learning Forward  
Learning Walks  
Using Microteaching to Improve Teaching and Learning  
5. Question 4: What Did We Learn Today?
The Story Behind the Question  
A PLC+ Team in Action  
Expert Noticing  
Common Assessments as Triggers for Reflection  
Determining Impact of Instruction  
Progress Versus Achievement  
6. Question 5: Who Benefited and Who Did Not Benefit?
The Story Behind the Question  
A PLC+ Team in Action  
Equity Audit  
Response to Intervention  
Universal Screening and Ongoing Assessment  
High-Quality Tier 1 Instruction  
Supplemental and Intensive Interventions  
Meeting the Needs of All Learners  
The Professional Learning of PLC+  
7. The Next Question in the PLC+ Framework
After the Fifth Question  
Beyond a Single PLC+  
Key features

This book is about developing strong and effective PLCs, but this challenge is impossible without the next part of the story—the plus: supporting teachers in knowing what to do in the context of individual and collective efficacy, expectations, equity and the facilitation of learning, both for students and for staff.  We hold the following beliefs about the structure and function of teams as they work collaboratively to improve student learning:

  1. We must keep the equity of access and opportunity to learn at the forefront of each PLC+ collaborative team meeting.
  2. We must ensure that the dialogue provoked by the five questions is facilitated in such a way that the work of the PLC+ is not hindered or impeded.
  3. We must develop learning experiences that make our expectations for learning clear to all students.

The collaborative work of the PLC+ should leverage teachers’ individual efficacy into collective teacher efficacy. Honoring each of these beliefs requires deliberate practice and intentionality. In the following chapters we address how PLC’s can address each of the five guiding questions that drive the work:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. Where are we now?
  3. How do we move learning forward?
  4. What did we learn today?
  5. Who benefited and who did not benefit?

But before we engage in these questions, we need to take a moment and consider the ingredients that make up a strong PLC.

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ISBN: 9781544361796
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