Shared vision can be a pitfall of Professional Learning Communities

Shared vision and values, one of the core values of Professional Learning Communities (PLC), can become a means to produce silence and suppress other viewpoints, says a recent article in British Educational Research Association. Different, competing values are always present in complex social institutions such as schools, writes the author.

“…The appeal to shared vision and values might itself be regarded as a ‘master’ convention which functions to bridge orders of worth and so render invisible the tensions and fault lines that pervade complex social institutions.”

Attempts to mask difference through an emphasis on shared values could actually inhibit organizational change and the learning the PLC value is supposed to promote.  The author writes that the dissonance and friction of competing values can fuel progress and change, bringing energy and innovation to the process.

“Effective professional learning communities? The possibilities for teachers as agents of change in schools,” by Cate Watson, British Educational Research Association, 2014, Vol. 40, No. 1 February, pp. 18-29.

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