Data is an essential part of the assessment process. Its validity largely determines the feasibility of results and, by extension, the success of an intervention. The information obtained during the course allows me to successfully identify strengths and weaknesses of the assessment procedure and design appropriate data collection tools. In combination with the extended understanding of principles of a professional learning environment, this knowledge enables me to participate in the process of PLC development and provides additional insights into the school environment.
We will write a custom Essay on The Professional Learning Community specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Professional learning communities is a relatively new concept introduced in an attempt to facilitate improvement in an educational setting. Despite its apparent simplicity, the concept requires reliable data in order to function properly. The following paper summarizes the knowledge received during the course and outlines possible areas of its implementation in my setting.
Creating a viable professional learning community requires significant resource and time allocation. However, it is equally important to establish persistent monitoring and assessment of the performance demonstrated by the project in order to determine its success and introduce necessary adjustments (Thessin & Starr, 2011). Understandably, an inappropriate assessment may result in an unreasonable waste of time and effort and, in some instances, disrupt an otherwise positive learning environment. Thus, the process should be based on accurate data in order to avoid the described issues. The first takeaway from the course is the understanding of the importance of data as a source of information and of the potential gaps in the collection process. Specifically, I learned about the value of various data points and am now able to determine the area in which their analysis would yield the most feasible result. I also familiarized myself with the common sources of data, such as reports and statistical databases.
This knowledge will help me in developing and conducting new assessment programs as well as reviewing and updating the existing ones. I also significantly improved my knowledge of primary data collection tools such as surveys and interviews and learned how to design and refine survey questions necessary for data collection and how to determine whether the collected data is reliable and valid. This knowledge may be helpful not only in the assessment process but also as a part of any project that requires primary data for analysis. Finally, the course provided extensive information about professional learning community and its characteristics. Aside from the seemingly evident themes, such as the importance of trust for a successful PLC, I received important insights regarding the role of structural support for PLC development, the importance of attitudinal attributes in the overall perception of the teacher’s level of professionalism, and the impact o evaluation process on the school-wide professional development (Cranston, 2009). I expect these insights to contribute to my effectiveness as a leader and, more importantly, identify and account for possible false attributions of successful PLC development.
The obtained knowledge is applicable to my activities as a leader in my school. First, the described skillset will allow me to conduct a timely and accurate assessment of several performance parameters, which, in turn, can be used to detect and eliminate shortcomings of the organization. I could also assist the development of similar projects whenever they require primary data analysis. Most importantly, I am able to analyze workplace climate, which, in turn, would provide me with in-depth insights regarding the levels of satisfaction of stakeholders and perceived impact of the initiative. In this way, I will be able to minimize conflict and increase the efficiency of professional learning community development.
As can be seen from the information above, data collection and analysis is a crucial component of PLC development. The information obtained during the course provides the necessary means tools and understanding the process and its successful implementation. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that their application in a real-world scenario will contribute to the improvement of school performance.
Cranston, J. (2009). Holding the reins of the professional learning community: Eight themes from research on principals’ perceptions of professional learning communities. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 90, 1-22.
Thessin, R. A., & Starr, J. P. (2011). Supporting the growth of effective professional learning communities districtwide. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(6), 48-54.