In this workshop, participants will understand that collaboration, knowledge sharing and reflective practice enable teacher professionalism. Research has shown that teacher social capital is an important predictor of student achievement gains, above and beyond teacher experience or ability in the classroom (Leana, 2011).
How do we harness the power of social capital in schools?
Professional Learning Communities (PLC) provides that platform for such collaboration on what works for student learning. As teachers design, implement and review their lessons together, they build on each other’s ideas; developing a sense of collective responsibility towards teaching and learning.
This workshop gives practical ideas on how to facilitate PLC by using the experience of a school with a sustained culture of collaboration and professional sharing. Presenters will share how the Create-Implement-Review cycle (Cheriyan, 2014) and Reflective Practice promote an evidence-based culture of learning. Participants will develop their own PLC framework appropriate for their unique context.
Mrs. Mary George Cheriyan is currently a Deputy Principal of the Raffles Girls’ School and Director of Centre for Pedagogical Research and Learning Raffles Girls’ School. Mary has extensive experience in Gifted Education (GE) principles and practice as a teacher and subsequently, as Head of Department. In this role, she supervised curriculum and professional development, ensuring fidelity to GE principles. She also set up and helmed the Staff Development Committee and the National Education Committee that remain robust. She developed structures and processes that have facilitated school-wide implementation of the GE curriculum. She aims to engender informed practice through a school-based research ecosystem that strengthens theory-practice nexus. She also steers Professional Development. She is a certified trainer in Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe;Clayton), Developing Performance Assessment (Alberta Assessment Consortium) and Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction (Erickson). She is also trained in Critical Thinking (Richard Paul) as well as Differentiated Curriculum for the Gifted (Van Tassel-Baska; Kaplan).
Tan Yen Chuan graduated from the National University of Singapore with Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in Chinese Studies. She teaches Higher Chinese and is a Teacher-Specialist who mentors teachers in Practitioner Inquiry. She also conducts educational research for school improvement. She earned a Master degree in Education at The University of Western Australia with a focus on research knowledge and skills.
As a teacher-researcher, Yen Chuan has conducted research projects on areas like Critical Thinking, Differentiated Instruction, Performance Tasks, Professional Learning Communities and Practitioner Inquiry. She shares the findings at multiple platforms like conferences, e-magazines and the school’s in-house publication. She also conducts professional learning clinics and workshops on these topics.