Professional Learning Communities - In the Expanded Learning Field (Paper and Guides) Edit Title

When Expanded Learning staff are well-supported, programs thrive. Too often, however, we rely on short-term fixes, like brief workshops, to help these professionals hone their craft.

Expanded Learning Opportunities can engage young people in meaningful, rigorous learning experiences after school, during the summer, and on weekends. Kids in high quality Expanded Learning programs are more likely to attend school, broaden their horizons, and learn new skills. Likewise, Professional Learning Communities can improve staff members’ practice by engaging adults in meaningful conversations about their work and encouraging them to practice new skills.

Professional Learning Communities in the Expanded Learning Time Field summarizes more than a decade of research about PLCs and presents lessons learned from several PLCs for Expanded Learning Opportunities.

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  1. The accompanying Guides are easy-to-use summaries of things to keep in mind when considering, planning, and evaluating your own PLCs.

    Why, and When, to Use Professional Learning Communities?

    This guide provides an overview of PLCs. The content draws primarily from research in education to define PLCs and to describe why a PLC may be an effective professional development experience for staff in Expanded Learning programs.

    BEST FOR: Professionals who are relatively new to PLCs and are curious about a PLC’s particular benefits for staff in Expanded Learning programs.

    Make the Most of Your Professional Learning Community: What You’ll Need

    Designed for readers who are further along in the process of PLC implementation, this guide walks step-by-step through the essential elements of a successful professional learning community. This guide includes practical advice from PLC participants and facilitators.

    BEST FOR: Program leaders or trainers who are strongly considering implementing a PLC, or those who have some experience with PLCs and are looking for guidance.

    How To Know if a Professional Learning Community is Effective

    It’s never too early to think about measuring effectiveness! This guide presents an evaluation framework for understanding the impact of professional development experiences, and offers resources for readers wishing to dig deeper into the evaluation of PLCs.

    BEST FOR: PLC facilitators and organizations that want to measure PLCs’ impact, as well as funders considering investing in a PLC.

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