Three Key Benefits of Teacher Learning Communities

Three Key Benefits of Teacher Learning Communities

At the NWEA Fusion 2012 conference this past June in Portland, Oregon, there were a number of sessions that focused on our Keeping Learning on Track (KLT) program. In short, KLT is a teacher professional development program that helps teachers to embed formative assessment in their classroom practice, using evidence of learning to adapt instruction and accelerate student growth. At the heart of KLT are Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs), a structured support environment, in which teachers collaboratively explore and implement strategies designed to enhance student engagement and learning.

A number of folks here at NWEA had the opportunity to spend time with teachers who are using KLT and heard what value TLCs offer to them. From those conversations, here are three key benefits of TLCs:

1. There’s a fundamental shift from teachers and students talking about teaching to talking about learning. This cultural change takes hold at the teacher level and permeates the classroom.

2. An increased, shared accountability from teachers and students as a result of the collaboration required in learning from each other.

3. A better understanding of learning expectations among teachers and students, which creates engaged classrooms.

While many additional benefits were discussed, these three resonated as a support for using formative assessment data. Are you using Teacher Learning Communities in your school? We’d love to hear from you on your experiences, so please drop a comment below.