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The professional learning community to improve academic performance and success

According to several studies, the professional learning community (CAP) is the key to improving student performance and success. Schools in different Canadian provinces are excited about its positive effects. But in reality, what is a CAP and what does it bring to students?

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According to several studies, the professional learning community (CAP) is the key to improving student performance and success. Schools in different Canadian provinces are excited about its positive effects. But in reality, what is a CAP and what does it bring to students?

A CAP is an association of teachers, members of management and / or pedagogical advisers who meet on a regular basis in order to question each other on ways to improve student success, to exchange strategies education, to assess the strengths and needs of young people in order to establish ways to strengthen their weaknesses.

This way of doing things has been implemented since 2005 in St-Henri Elementary School, New Brunswick. Initially, the members reflected on the means to improve the success of their students, focusing on common assessment tasks, the grading scale, the classification of students according to the threshold of success and many other aspects. Two years later, weekly meetings were scheduled for the establishment and their CAP operated according to a well-established structure. The leitmotif of the community is also the objective SMART, that is, everything that is achieved must have a purpose Sspecific, Mesurable, ATattainable, focus on Rresults and limited in the Temps. This procedure now allow to "bring together students with the same challenges and / or strengths, within the same level, in order to improve student performance through intervention or enrichment in connection with the 'SMART goal'.

In some schools in Nova Scotia, the process for implementing a CAP is more or less the same as elsewhere (exchanges of ideas, joint evaluations, student analyzes, etc.). However, one idea emerges for improving academic performance: teachers are invited to observe their peers during their lessons so that they can identify promising teaching practices and then apply them.

In reality, regardless of the educational institution, two constants can be identified when a CAP is implemented. First, it is a long process. It is indeed necessary to meet by subject or by level, to think about the means to improve the performance of the pupils and, finally, to establish how to apply them. This then leads to the second constant, namely that the structure of the CAP will always vary according to its main actors and their educational level. This kind of community can therefore orient itself in a thousand and one ways.

To find out more about CAPs, see Martine Leclerc's book, Professional learning community. Guide for school leaders, Quebec, PUQ, 2012, 232 pages

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About the Author

Felipe Antaya
Felipe Antaya
Pursuing studies in educational technology, Felipe Antaya has worked for several years in the field of education at the secondary and college level. Holder of a master's degree in Quebec studies and a bachelor's degree in philosophy, he has also worked in the field of written media.

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