As the basic building blocks of a Professional Learning Community (PLC), Learning Teams use strong inquiry-based collaborative tools (e.g. Lesson Study) to help teachers improve on their instructional practice.
To ensure fidelity of practice across the education system, objectives of Learning Teams are aligned to school goals and other areas of learning priority.
With the Professional Divisions and Subject Chapters of the Academy providing the necessary pedagogical and content expertise, Learning Teams provide practical, job-embedded professional development (PD) that will help teachers address the Theory-Practice Gap and better apply their professional knowledge in the classroom.
This would, in turn, improve student outcomes and help in the achievement of school goals.
1At the Ministry of Education (MOE) Work Plan Seminar, Minister for Education Dr Ng Eng Hen signalled the importance of nurturing the communication and language skills of young Singaporeans, so that they will thrive in the globalised world.
The Minister also announced measures to deepen the professionalism of the teaching service, so as to build a world-class education service.
Nurturing the Communication and Language Skills of Our Young
2. To prepare the young for the future, MOE aims to nurture each child into becoming a confident person, a self-directed learner, an active contributor and a concerned citizen.
It is therefore important that our students learn to communicate and express themselves well in English, the lingua franca of the world.
3. Since the English Language Curriculum and Pedagogy Review in 2006, Ministry of Education (MOE) has put in place several improvements at the primary, secondary and pre-university levels to enhance the way English Language (EL) is being taught, with a particular focus on developing students’ speaking and listening skills.
For example, the STELLAR (STrategies for English Language Learning And Reading) programme has been implemented at Primary One (first Grade / Primero Básico ) across all primary schools this year, and will be phased in at all other levels by 2014.
Through STELLAR, the use of show-and-tell, role play and dramatisation develop oracy skills among our young.
What is a STELLAR Lesson Like?
Publication Date: February 27, 2012
I am grateful and thankful for all the informal and formal learning opportunities I have had access to through the individual and collective members of my PLN, my Professional Learning Network.
Each one of you is indispensable to my learning, and thusly, I treasure all of you, equally. Thank you. Thanks to the 1,980 members of my LinkedIn network. Through you, I have access to the collective wisdom and knowledge of 12,614,973 people. Let me spell that out: Twelve million, six hundred fourteen thousand, nine hundred and seventy three people. That’s an awful lot of people to have in a PLN.
Thanks to my Facebook PLN, all 1,985 of you. Yes, Facebook as a PLN. You guys have shared an awful lot of great information with me about education, learning, and teaching. You’ve shared links, videos, conferences, seminars, training opportunities, and current news, for all this, Facebook is the place to look.
Twitter, what can I say about you? There are 1,892 of you. One thousand, eight hundred and ninety two. Twitter takes persistence when you first begin. No matter how much info you have about Twitter, the early days are difficult, if you’re like most people. But if you’re really keen on being current, up to date, on the cutting edge of what’s new in your profession and in the world, then you must learn to use Twitter.
Let me be brutally honest: as a PLN, LinkedIn is fantastic, Facebook is spectacular, both are most magnificent social media tools, but they are not Twitter. Twitter is the social media I turn to most often. Having said that, again, all three, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn complement each other well, providing me with an iron triangle of knowledge and news.
Thank you, to all the members of my Professional Learning Network.
My learning never stops, thanks to you!
The PLN: Professional Learning Network [Kindle Edition]
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.
He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.
Thomas is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.
Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty four (44) books overall.
The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.