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Key Variables for Establishing and Sustaining Highly Effective Professional Learning Communities


This session describes attributes of Pathways Professional Learning Communities (PLC's) that have emerged in research projects to be effective for shifting mathematics teachers' instruction. These shifts have led to greater student learning as assessed by the Precalculus Concept Assessment (PCA), an instrument that has been validated (Carlson & Oehrtman, 2010) to assess foundation concepts and reasoning abilities for learning calculus. Effective Pathways PLC's: i) are focused on teaching and learning content in a specific course; ii) have a facilitator who holds teachers to high standards for discourse about learning specific ideas, iii) are situated in a school in which the principal and department chairs support teachers' PLC participation. In this session we will describe the context in which Pathways PLC's have been effective and the attributes of PLC facilitators that led to PLC members engaging in deep reflection on the effectiveness of their curriculum and teaching in relation to student learning.

View All Paper Session Presentations from the 2011 MSP LNC Conference