Transforming European ECEC services and Primary schools into professional learning communities: drivers, barriers and ways forward

Nima Sharmahd, Jan Peeters, Katrien Van Laere, Tajana Vonta, Chris De Kimpe, Sanja Brajković, Laura Contini, Donatella Giovannini
NESET Analytical Report, 2017

Researchers and international organizations broadly agree that the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC), and of schools, depends on well-educated and competent staff (OECD, 2006; UNICEF, 2008; Milotay, 2016). The contemporary educating/teaching profession has become incredibly complex (European Commission, 2011a) prompting calls for stronger support of ECEC and school staff, which could be included in both initial education and continuous professional development (CPD). The complex multi-diverse societies in which we live, make it indeed impossible today to find standardized solutions for all families/children. 

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a valuable answer in this direction. PLCs can be described as ‘a group of people sharing and critically interrogating their practice in an on-going, reflective, collaborative, inclusive, learning-oriented, growth-promoting way’ (Stoll et al., 2006, p. 223). The goal is not ‘being a professional learning community’, but improving wellbeing and learning for children and families (Ibidem).

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