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Master Class

The Four Ways of Professional Learning Communities

Topic: The Four Ways of Professional Learning Communities
Trainer: Professor Dennis Shirley, Boston College
Date: 26 March 2019 Tuesday
Venue: Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

Time: 9am to 5pm

Workshop Fee:

S$350.00 per participant. If 2 or more participants from the same school/organization attend the same workshop, the discounted fee will be S$300.00 per participant for that particular workshop.

S$200.00 per participant if the person has registered for Global Educational Leadership Conference 2019.

Fees include all training materials, 2 tea breaks and a lunch.

Other Information: Registration is on a first-come-first serve basis. No refunds will be made for cancellations or in the case of absentees. The Academy accepts replacements for registered participants who are unable to attend for whatever reasons.

About the Workshop

Educators increasingly are recognizing, and research is persistently revealing, that the jobs of teaching and leading schools are too demanding for people to work in isolation from one another. But calls for collaboration often fall on deaf ears because teachers and leaders do not have job-embedded ways of developing their lesson plans, revising curricula, and improving their assessment tools. So, how can educators better support each other while coping with the busy, everyday pressures of life in schools?  And because no system is perfect, how can we weigh the trade-offs involved in different models of collegiality and shared learning to understand which model is best for our schools?

This highly interactive workshop will provide an overview of Four Ways of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs):

  • A First Way of the educator as an ;

  • A Second Way of PLCs focused on teaching and assessment;

  • A Third Way of concentrated on pushing improvement forward through relentless pursuit of improved testing results; and

  • A Fourth Way of that incorporates elements of the First, Second, and Third Ways while restoring to educators a broad repertoire of strategies to improve learning by re-engaging students with the full range of their diversity and talents.


The heart of this workshop will show school leaders how to identify the different kinds of PLCs as they are manifested in the everyday lives of educators in their schools.  With this information leaders will then focus on concrete, step-by-step protocols that they can take with them to shift and improve their current PLC structures and cultures.  Workshop participants will learn how to capitalize upon the strengths of their leadership strategies and how to avoid common errors and distractions in the start-up phase of implementation.  They will learn how to determine which approach towards professional learning is best for their school or system at the present stage of development, with special attention given to innovative forms of staff development that integrate their work with new information and communication technologies.

About Professor Dennis Shirley

Dr Dennis Shirley.jpg

Dennis Shirley is Professor of Education at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Dennis dedicates his life to the improvement of teaching and learning for students so that they may flourish wherever they may be. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Educational Change, an indispensable resource for change leaders at the school, state, or national levels. A peripatetic presenter, Dennis has conducted research and led professional development workshops for school leaders in six continents and his work has been translated into many languages. Most recently, he has authored a second edition of The Mindful Teacher  and his newest book entitled The New Imperatives of Educational Change: Achievement with Integrity.

With co-author Andy Hargreaves and a team of Boston College doctoral students, Dennis has just published a report entitled Leading from the Middle:  Spreading Learning, Well-being, and Identity across Ontario. This new report illustrates the ways in which Dennis works with educators  to help with clarifying their challenges, identifying promising strategies, and implementing and assessing change. He is skilled at breaking down ill-defined problem sets into winnable goals that can be attained with persistence, creativity, and dignity. Combining cutting-edge research findings with sensitivity and compassion for the educators charged with teaching the young on a daily basis, Dennis is highly sought-after because of his respect for teachers and administrators and his engagement with students and their learning.

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