Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 209–234 | Cite as

Professional learning communities as drivers of educational change: The case of learning rounds

  • Carey PhilpottEmail author
  • Catriona Oates


Many researchers claim that there is a compelling weight of evidence for the effectiveness of PLCs in promoting teachers’ learning and pupil achievement. However, others raise fundamental questions about their nature and purpose. Some of the uncertainties about the nature and purpose of PLCs relate to the ways in which the macro-context of neo-liberalism has shaped the practices of PLCs in particular ways. The fundamental questions raised about PLCs relate to the type of change they are intended to produce, the model of community they are based on and whether the right conditions and skills are in place for them to contribute to change. Some researchers argue that we need to pay more attention to shortcomings within existing PLCs and their internal dynamics. Others argue that little research focuses on the specific interactions of teachers inside PLCs. The research reported here goes ‘inside the teacher community’ of Learning Rounds to explore what the shortcomings of some examples of this model in practice add to what we know about how to assist PLCs to produce change in education.


Instructional rounds Learning rounds Professional learning communities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Childhood, Carnegie FacultyLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK
  2. 2.University of the West of ScotlandAyrUK

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