Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Feger, S., Arruda, E. (2008) Professional Learning Communities: Key Themes from the Literature, Review conducted by The Education Alliance at Brown University under a subcontract from Hezel Associates, LLC, general evaluation contractor for PBS TeacherLine.

Over the past twenty-five years, the educational literature has devoted considerable attention to the topic of professional learning communities (PLCs). A search of the literature on PLCs reveals a broad range of publications from guidelines for organizing PLCs, to research on their implementation. However, rigorous research and evaluation studies of PLCs are limited in number. Much of the practitioner literature on PLCs has described the processes and stages that occur along their developmental trajectory. As learning communities evolve as a strategy for professional development on a larger scale, there is a small but emerging literature that looks critically at PLC models and their impact on teaching practice and student learning. Collectively, the literature on PLCs is a rich and promising body of work that offers valuable opportunities for further exploration.

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