FAQs and Resources
1. What is the difference between a Professional Learning Community (PLC) and a Professional Learning Team (PLT)?
A PLC focuses on teacher collaboration and professional development to take the school community to the next level in enhancing student learning. It involves every leader and staff member working collaboratively in smaller units known as PLTs. A school becomes a PLC when the PLTs work towards the realisation of articulated PLC goals, embodied in the 3 Big Ideas, 4 Critical Questions and 5 Dimension for Effective PLCs, and learn together as a community.
2. What does a PLT do?
A PLT works collaboratively to enhance student learning. The PLT’s project should address the 4 Critical Questions of Student Learning and should be conducted in a manner consistent with the 3 Big Ideas of PLCs.
3. How can teachers find the time to carry out their PLT project?
The support provided by school leaders is crucial in ensuring the success of the PLC. Time should be specifically set aside for teachers to collaborate, in a way which will not add to their teaching and administrative workload. To achieve this, Time-Tabled Time (the time factored into a teacher’s timetable for professional development), where time slots are exclusively set aside for PLTs, is essential.
4. What happens after a PLT comes to the end of its cycle?
A PLT that has completed its cycle can continue tracking and reviewing the results to determine if their objectives have been met or start working on a new focus. PLT projects can extend beyond a calendar year. Schools can reorganise PLTs after the end of each cycle so that teachers can work with different colleagues and expand their circle of learning.
5. Can I choose my own team members?
PLTs can be organised in various ways (e.g., by level, subject). The composition of a PLT should take into account the school’s context and needs.
6. How can the Allied Educators (AEDs) and Executive and Administrative Staff (EAS) be involved in my school?
AEDs and EAS may either join PLTs relevant to their own areas of work, or form their own teams working on school improvement projects.
7. What is the role of the School Staff Developer (SSD)?
The SSD is a member of the coalition team and plays an active role in guiding PLTs in his/her school.
8. What if my school does not have a SSD?
In such a case, a staff member who is currently in charge of the professional development of the whole staff, may be appointed to perform some of the roles of the SSD.
9. Has MOE explored existing PLC Models from overseas?
MOE has referred to the studies of researchers and practitioners of PLCs such as Shirley Hord, Joellen Killion, Michael Fullan, Richard DuFour, Linda Darling-Hammond, Kristine Kiefer Hipp and Jane Bumpers Huffman, among others and has explored PLC models from countries such as Australia and the US. However, the concepts mentioned in the PLC website are largely the work of Richard DuFour, Robert Eaker, Kristine Kiefer Hipp and Jane Bumpers Huffman.
10. Will schools be given additional funding for the PLC?
Schools already have sources of funding for PD available such as the School-based Professional Development Fund (SPDF). MOE also supports teachers through the provision of PD in areas such as critical inquiry methods, and facilitation skills.
Source: PLC Starter Kit