The 9 wants of professional learning communities

Went along to a Australian Government Quality Teacher Program (AGQTP) network meeting last week and one of the documents we looked at was ‘The 9 wants of professional learning communities for sustained “long haul” culture rather than short term buzz’ by Ron Ritchart, who we’ve been working with over the last couple of years.

I’d seen this list a while ago, but it was good to be reminded of it again, and to checklist what we’re trying to do, against this set of guidelines. Here’s the list.

  1. Adequate time (protected, built into the schedule, sufficient, sustained)
  2. Facilitative structures (use of protocols, action research projects, classroom observations, professional reading groups)
  3. Common language (for discussion of teaching and learning)
  4. Visibility (documented, shared, valued)
  5. Perspective (cross year level, cross subjects, cross management)
  6. Based on student learning and thinking (focused on “something on the table”, talking to the issue of learning and thinking, rather than talking around it, focus not on what we do but on what we get from students.
  7. Action (must affect classroom practice and student learning)
  8. Challenge (push and challenge teachers thinking and beliefs about learning)
  9. Valuing (senior management take it seriously and participate)

2 thoughts on “The 9 wants of professional learning communities

  1. Hey Warrick,
    I still think that number 6) Based on student learning doesn’t go far enough. It needs to include students. I have just come back from a conference where students were not mentioned at all. I think students need to be at professional learning because I know it sounds idealistic but aren’t we all learners?.

    I think until students are actively included in this process we will not make the big shifts we are needing to.

  2. Thanks Lauren; I agree. I’ve been to those kind of conferences too, and ones where academics, theorists and politicians who’ve never been in a classroom lecture teachers about how to do it.

    In this case the focus was on teacher learning and development and I felt it was pretty focused on seeing that learning and development centred on students and their learning.

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