Jackie Russell: Developing a Professional Learning Community (PLC)

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Developing a Professional Learning Community (PLC)


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Welcome! The intent of this course is to provide administrators and educators with the knowledge and power needed to transform their professional communities. Teaching is an all-consuming craft that is best ventured in forces--not in solitude. This course will provide powerful information about what a Professional Learning Community (PLC) is, the process a PLC follows to ensure student success, and the tools to help with implementation in your own school.

Unit 1: What is a PLC?


Unit 1 will provide you with information regarding the defining characteristics of a Professional Learning Community (PLC). In addition, this unit will highlight for you potential benefits gained with PLC's in place, possible challenges PLC members face, and feedback from PLC participants. Lastly, you will reflect upon your current work culture and environment as you begin to envision your team working towards brighter futures for your students!


  • Learners will identify defining characteristics of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) through viewing and reading related content.
  • Learners will describe potential benefits and challenges they potentially anticipate for their own implementation by evaluating the reflection of PLC participants.
  • Learners will examine their current work culture and environment by completing a survey.

Bluearrowbullet.gif PLC Big Ideas and Characteristics

Unit 2: The PLC Process

In Unit 2, you will explore the PLC process and consider how you would confront diverse challenges.



  • Learners will conceptualize the process of a PLC by viewing content.
  • Learners will evaluate key components present within model PLCs by viewing several PLCs in action.

Bluearrowbullet.gif Unit 2: PLC Process

Unit 3: Pathways to PLC Adoption

In Unit 3, you will engage in discourse with other educational professionals about various ideas relative to PLC adoption and sustainability. You will then develop your own PLC by following a rubric to help you create an effective design. As you have learned, this process is highly involved and slow-growing. You are encouraged to reflect periodically about your PLCs progress.


  • Learners will engage in meaningful discussion surrounding the topic of PLCs with a community of educational professionals
  • Learners will synthesize their learning by creating a PLC within their own school community

Bluearrowbullet.gif Unit 3: Pathways to Adoption

References and Resources

BethelSchools. (2014, January 31). Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in Bethel School District [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WLcm0pe_bg

Bransford, J. D. (2000). How People Learn. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Dufour, R. (2004). What is a professional learning community? Educational Leadership, 61. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may04/vol61/num08/What-Is-a-Professional-Learning-Community¢.aspx

DuFour, Rebecca. [FPScurriculum’s channel]. (2012, February 25). Solution Tree Rebecca DuFour, 3 Big Ideas of a PLC. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxWw_6ahyvk

DuFour, Rebecca. [Sol Tree]. (2009, October 9). Solution Tree: Rebecca DuFour PLC Keynote. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpl5hJWQ_mc

DuFour, Richard. [Sol Tree]. (2011, April 8). Solution Tree: Rick DuFour on Learning by Doing. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HHpancww9c http://www.edutopia.org/professional-learning-communities-collaboration-how-to

E.L. Haynes PCS. (2014, June 30). Building a Professional Learning Community: Top Five Lessons Learned. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrvhzXrfpNc

Gateway Public Schools. (2012, August 23). Introducing Professional Learning Communities at Gateway High School. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr7aUrra27w

Ha, C. [Christopher Ha]. (2010, August 8). PLC – Professional Learning Community Implementation. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWUoceQsZ3A Ipsorg. (2012, March 13). About Professional Learning Communities [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7YX40bWrCs

Jameson-Whitney, Paula. Designing Essential Standards [PDF document]. Retrieved from http://plc.sdcoe.net/Resources/Focus%20on%20Learning/Designating_Essential_Standards.pdf

King, D. (2015, January 28). Enhancing the Professional Learning Community Process: A Series of Tweaks. Retrieved from http://www.solution-tree.com/blog/enhancing-plc-process/

Larson, M. B., Lockee, B. B. (2014). Streamlined ID: A Practical Guide to Instructional Design. New York, NY: Routledge.

Mrsjenjacob. (2011, June 24). Ignite! Professional Learning Communities [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4jS5lUz-2w

Pearson North America. (2013, April 19). Seven Hills Elementary School PLC Meeting [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2UCLZDWdyA

Stevens Elementary School.(2002). Professional Learning Communities. Four Essential Questions and How We Respond, Retrieved from http://www.dps61.org/domain/1578


Tech Learning. (2013, June 30). Professional Learning Communities [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuKS3vv6wyM

Walker, B. (2014). Professional learning communities (PLC) self-assessment rubric. Retrieved from http://collaborate.caedpartners.org/display/CAED/Professional+Learning+Communities+(PLC)+Self-Assessment+Rubric


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