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EDUC.6130: Leading the Professional Learning Community

Richard Dufour, 1947-2017
Richard Dufour, 1947-2017

EDU.6130: Leading the Professional Learning Community 
Graduate School of Education, UMass Lowell

This course is designed to assist school leaders or aspiring school leaders in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with leadership of a professional learning community (PLC). The PLC is an educational construct that has emerged from scholarship and practice stretching back at least several decades. This guide is a collection of all required course materials. Select course materials on the side navigation menu to begin.

Course Objectives

In essence, the PLC is a set of school level traits associated with excellence in teaching and learning.
Traits include:

  • Collaboration (educators learning with and from each other)
  • Inquiry
  • Reflection
  • Shared responsibility for student learning
  • Shared examination of instructional practice and student learning.

In practice, the PLC ranges widely in quality, from very thoughtful cultivation that dramatically improves the quality of teaching and learning within a school, to nothing more than a new name for the same bad meetings.


Assigned Chapters can be found in these links.

Read Chapter 1: Introduction

Read Chapter 1: Introduction: Making the case for lesson study

Read Chapter 8: Professional learning communities: The surest, fastest path to instructional improvement.

  • Introduction
  • ​​​​​​​Chapter 1: Organizing for collaborative work
  • Chapter 4: Digging into data

Chapter 2, "A New model: the Professional Learning Community"

Chapter 1: The basic ideas, Chapter 2: Facilitating.

Chapter 1: Facilitating the professional development of others.