Monday, November 29, 2010

9th Reflection - 16 November 2010

Initiatives in Professional Development

     What is a “Professional Learning Community (PLC)?” It is actually made up of a group of professional individuals who have a common interest, such as education, coming together to discuss about the problems faced by their students, especially in academic, and how they can help them. Thus, PLC focuses on the following three big ideas:
v  Ensuring that students learn
v  A culture of collaboration
v  A focus on Results
     Under the first big idea, the focus shifts from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. Teachers in PLC must know actually what they want their students to learn, whether their students have learnt as well as how they should response when their students face difficulties in learning. If they find out that their students have difficulties in learning, they must identify the students who need help immediately. They must also provide the necessary intervention to the students as soon as possible and finally, they must provide more help to the students until they have mastered the relevant skills. In the second big idea, the teachers must understand that they must always work together to achieve the goals they have set. For instance, they must work together to analyse and improve their teaching strategies in the classrooms. This can be achieved through consistent sharing and reading in groups. In the third big idea, the teachers must gather data all the time to turn them into useful information for them to analyse how they can help their students to perform better in their work. Results are crucial in this big idea. Therefore, if the teachers really put in a lot of hard work and are committed to their work, the students will definitely learn.      
            My school begins to implement PLC from the beginning of this year. Every level adopts a core subject to conduct PLC. The P3 teachers found that the pupils are weak in model drawing. As a result, they have difficulties in solving problem sums. They want all their pupils to master the skill of model drawing well. They began to use the TT to discuss their area of concern, read literature and try out strategies which are useful in the teaching of model drawing. They conducted a pre-test, provided the appropriate interventions and ended with a post-test. They also collected data during the process for analysing purposes and for improvement in their teaching strategies. At the end of the process, the teachers found that the pupils are able to draw models better and they are able to put all the appropriate labels too. The teachers were happy that they had used PLC.
            Thus, PLC seems to be a good tool for helping the pupils improve their learning.

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