10 Pages

The importance of Professional Learning Networks

ByCindy L. Poortman, Chris Brown

This chapter examines the educational landscape as a framework for the growing international focus on Professional Learning Networks (PLNs). It outlines the international policy demands along with the nascent focus on partnerships and networks. Policy demands in increasingly complex society are important drivers for networked forms of professional development. Literature on PLNs suggests that there are five key conditions supporting the ability of PLNs to drive changes in practice and student learning. Although different studies present slightly different terms, in general these conditions are represented by the ideas of focus, collaboration, reflective professional inquiry, leadership and group and individual learning. To understand how to achieve improvement in the schools of PLN members, people need to explore how PLNs can bring about organizational learning in these schools. To promote the expansion of PLN learning to other colleagues in their schools, the boundary needs to be 'crossed'.