Learning in a PLC

What is PLC?

Precision Manufacturing Institute (PMI) offers training for several trades including: CNC Machinist, Electric Arc Welding Training, and Mechatronics Technology. These programs are taught by trained instructors and offer hands on training. The hands on training approach uses a system called a professional learning community.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Professional learning communities or PLC’s are collaborative learning systems that focus on learning rather than teaching. This type of system plays a large role in developing highly trained graduates at PMI. The PLC was created by Richard DuFour who first introduced the idea as a public high school educator. The three “big ideas” that DuFour emphasizes are: ensuring that students learn, creating a culture of collaboration, and focusing on results.

Professional Learning Community

The system uses professional learning community plans to create a community of learning. This community is essential for ensuring that no student is left behind and that all students have the ability to not only learn the material that is presented, but to master the concepts and feel comfortable to move on to more challenging information and/or scenarios. The learning environment is as a result more collaborative and inclusive as the goal is for everyone to learn, not only those that quickly master the subject.

Professional Learning Community Plans (PLC Plans)

PLC Plans are implemented in learning community environment to address issues that take place in regards to learning and provide direction on how to handle a student that is experiencing difficulty in the learning process with an intervention program. As DuFour (2004) writes, with a student who experiences learning difficulty the program will, “quickly identify students that need extra time and support, provide students with help as soon as they experience difficulty, and require students to devote extra time and receive extra assistance.” By having a plan such as this in place, the students and instructors will place an emphasis on learning and mastering the material and not just on getting through the material on time.

Why PLC?

PMI believes that using this method of training is ideal based on the information that students are being taught and the hands-on experience that they are receiving. The PLC system is not only good for high school students, but can be beneficial to all students in any type of learning environment. Since PMI focuses on training professionals in a variety of fields, expert training is a must. Every graduate of PMI should feel ready to enter the job market with the skills and experience provided in their designated program.

No matter what training program you chose at PMI, it will include the concepts of a professional learning communities and professional learning plans, to ensure all students are equipped with the knowledge to succeed in their chosen field.

DuFour, Richard. “What is a Professional Learning Community?.” Educational Leadership. ASCD, May 2004. Web. 24 Dec. 2015