Heads Using Professional Learning Communities Erasmus Project

General information for the Heads Using Professional Learning Communities Erasmus Project

Heads Using Professional Learning Communities Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Heads Using Professional Learning Communities

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for school education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2016

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Inclusion – equity; Quality Improvement Institutions and/or methods (incl. school development); Integration of refugees

Project Summary

Successful students’ learning in inclusive settings also integrating refugee and migrated children well is the overall goal of current school development activities in Europe. Empirical results prove that school leaders (SL) can influence better teaching and classroom management by setting up structures for teachers’ learning. Professional learning communities (PLCs) are broadly discussed as successful method for teachers’ development. For leadership development they are hardly known, though. The HeadsUP project developed the method for professionalization of SL leaders to get them well experienced in PLC-work and raise their competencies on leadership and school development. According to this experience, school leaders focus better on their teachers’ learning and invest in setting up teacher-PLCs in their schools and thus contribute to better students learning. This Double-decker model is the core idea of the project.
In the field of leadership training the project is unique because it closes the gap that arises from an internationally run debate on leadership development that is not consequently leading into internationally linked learning opportunities. In the international scientific community, leadership development is a broadly discussed topic, but still there is little connection between the international debate and the ongoing training of school leaders, which is usually carried out with a national or even just regional orientation. The project “HeadsUP- Heads Using Porfessional Learning Communities” will overcome this gap by connecting leadership development on a transnational level and arrange a wide learning opportunity across counties. Combining the activities of regional working SL-PLCs in each country with transnational exchange methodically structured meetings, leadership conferences and through learning material, the project provides learning opportunities ranging from good-practice in leading and teaching diversity all over the countries to scientific expertise.

In the project finally 22 SL-PLCs with 3-6 SL each work in six European countries. The partners laid out a learning environment by additionally facilitating the PLCs and getting them connected on several occations in the transnational network. Most of the SL initiated teachers-PLCs at their schools. Some focused primarily on their own learning and development of their PLC. The five universities, Weingarten, Feldkirch, Trondheim, Nikosia und Málaga and one municipality, Linköping, worked successfully together in the project and managed to gain new differentiated knowledge on SL-PLCs and how to run them successfully. The new knowledge they turned into five intellectual outputs which adress different audiences. A comprehensive Manual provides conceptual and practical hints for setting up PLCs. An Evaluation Report offers an empirical analysis of requirements, processes, benefits etc. of SL-PLCs. The Guideline gives a short introduction into the project, the method and some leading orientation for the establishment of SL-PLCs and leads readers to the Webpage. The webpage provides all intellectual outputs and give various insights in the activities and results of the multiplier events and the experiences by the particpants (www.plc-headsup.eu). Since the multiplier events were carried out as leadership conferences always referring to both, teaching successfully in inclusive settings and professionalizing well with PLCs, what there is to learn can be retraced by slides, pictures and summaries. Finally, a Learning Platform serves as an example how to support PLCs by blended learning and what kind of material and ways to exchcange can be applied.

Through the intellectual outputs the consortium distributed the new method and the results of the exploration to the practical and also to the scientifical discourse on professional development at national/international conferences, by publications in scientific and school oriented papers and numerous exchanges, some conserted expert talks within the regional networks. It adressed two main groups of stakeholders: schools, school authorities and staff committees, teacher trainers and researchers in the field of leadership and school development. Current discussions in the network of the partners are enriched by the experiences won in the project. Setting up SL-PLCs was an initial point for the project team to engage furthermore in developing schools with PLCs. Even after the project ended the consortium still disseminates the results towards the two discourses and quotes it in all the papers the partners write on PLCs. Currently the consortium engages aditionally in adapting the method to other groups in the education system in order to have the benefit of the great idea also at universities (students-PLCs) and at higher level of school authorities (directors-PLCs). Practicing PLCs already in university studies provides schools with teachers that are already competent on PLC-work in the future.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 229105,46 Eur

Project Coordinator

PAEDAGOGISCHE HOCHSCHULE WEINGARTEN & Country: DE

Project Partners

  • UNIVERSIDAD DE MALAGA
  • The Municipality of Linköping
  • NORGES TEKNISK-NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET NTNU
  • EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY CYPRUS
  • Pädagogische Hochschule Vorarlberg