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Professional Learning Communities

A professional learning community (PLC) is a collaborative work culture for teachers whereby reflective understanding is gained with the aid of peers who have the same experiences, thereby improving professional knowledge and student learning. Professional learning communities are often used in education as a model for program evaluation and continuous program improvement. This entry describes the essential characteristics of PLCs, their effectiveness, the processes involved in creating or developing them, and their significance in education research, measurement, and evaluation.

Professional learning communities have several central features. Shared values and a common vision are qualities that are considered foundational to PLCs, as is collective responsibility for student learning. Effective PLCs in districts and schools address the current challenges or problems that are most critical for the school. ...

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