This article reviews the methods and findings of research that examine schools as professional learning communities in a range of contexts and phases of education. The relevant issues that are addressed include the value of the professional learning community (PLC) concept for enhancing professional learning as well as its contribution to student learning and outcomes. Although a few studies exist, at present, that specifically look at how the effectiveness and quality of a PLC can be measured and evaluated and also whether a PLC has a quantifiable positive impact on pupil outcomes, this article focuses on the available evidence. To illustrate the key issues, selected evidence is drawn from a large-scale research project funded by the UK’s Department for Education and Science (DFES), General Teaching Council (GTC), and National College for School Leadership (NCSL) ‘Creating and Sustaining Effective Professional Learning Communities’ (Bolam et al., 2005)
Thomas, S. Evaluating Schools as Learning Communities. In: International Encyclopedia of Education. Elsevier, (2010) 539-547. ISBN 978-0-08-044894-7 [DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-044894-7.01638-9]
Evaluating schools as learning communities.