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Creating a Professional Learning Community at Work


Course Description

Members of professional learning communities (PLCs) take as their primary purpose enhancing their own learning in order to enhance, in turn, all their students’ achievement. Toward that end, educators in PLCs engage in authentic collaboration to develop a shared mission and vision, to create structural and cultural change to support that mission and vision, to articulate collective commitments based on consensus, to determine specific goals, and to develop plans to pursue and achieve those goals. In this course, presenters Richard DuFour and Rebecca DuFour, among the initiators of the PLC concept, take a group of educators embarking on a new school deeply into why and how to structure their school to support the PLC process. Participants will explore what essential questions members of PLCs need to ask and answer, how to engage in authentic collaboration and collective inquiry, and how to organize themselves around a results orientation. The course engages online participants in the processes that result in effective PLCs and illustrates these processes through PLCs in action.


What people are saying about our programs.

"The KDS courses from PCG provide an option for my teachers and leadership team to access PD without leaving our school. The online format is convenient, and the online coaches and course materials keep the learning engaging. It gives my staff access to hear from industry leaders and directors, including the DuFours on PLCs."

Pennsylvania Elementary School Principal

Course Presenters

Richard DuFour, Ed.D.

Richard DuFour, Ed.D., was a public school educator for 34 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He was principal of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, from 1983 to 1991 and superintendent of the district from 1991 to 2002.

During his tenure, Stevenson became what the United States Department of Education has described as one of “the most recognized and celebrated schools in America.” Stevenson has been repeatedly cited in the popular press as one of America’s best schools and referenced in professional literature as an exemplar of best practices in education. The author of a quarterly column for the Journal of Staff Development for almost a decade,

Dr. DuFour is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from Illinois State University, the distinguished Scholar Practitioner Award from the University of Illinois, and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Staff Development Council.


Rebecca DuFour, M.Ed.

Rebecca DuFour, M.Ed., has served as a teacher, school administrator, and central office coordinator. As a former elementary principal, she helped her school earn state and national recognition as a model professional learning community. She was the lead consultant and featured principal in the Video Journal of Education program Elementary Principals as Leaders of Learning and is one of the featured principals in Leadership in an Age of Standards and High Stakes.

Ms. DuFour has written for numerous professional journals, reviewed books for the Journal of Staff Development, and authored a quarterly column for Leadership Compass, published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Partner Profile

Solution Tree delivers comprehensive professional development to schools and districts around the world. Solution Tree has empowered K–12 educators to raise student achievement through a wide range of services and products including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos, and online courses. Last year, more than 25,000 educators attended Solution Tree events on professional learning communities, RTI, assessment, and other topics.

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