Professional learning communities (PLCs) offer a collaborative approach to professional development in which small groups of educators meet regularly to reflect on instructional planning and practice, share expertise and insights from their teaching experiences, and engage in collective problem-solving.
At the heart of effective PLCs are inquiry and reflection focused on standards-based instruction, engaging discussions on lessons that support students as they access grade-level curriculum, and exploring ways to provide students with means for expression.
PLCs are often beneficial for educators working towards similar goals, such as improving student outcomes through the implementation of a new curriculum, program, or framework. One such framework is Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
UDL is a standards-based framework for inclusive education that aims to eliminate barriers to learning and optimize each individual’s opportunity to learn. The framework provides guidelines for educators to offer multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation, and multiple means of action and expression to equalize the playing field for all learners and to eliminate inequities in the classroom. UDL recognizes that a one-size-fits-all curriculum doesn’t meet the needs of all students.
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