Using the Action Research rationale to enhance the creation of teachers’ Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
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Creating teachers’ professional learning communities (PLCs) is an effective bottom-up way of bringing innovation into the science curriculum and professional development. The models of PLCs are based on principles of learning that emphasize the co-construction of knowledge by learners, who in this case are the teachers themselves. Teachers in a PLC meet regularly to explore their practices and the learning outcomes of their students, conduct Action Research activities - analyze their teaching and their students’ learning processes, draw conclusions, and make changes in order to improve their teaching and the learning of their students. It was found that participation in an Action Research workshop influences teaching practice, so teachers become more student-centered. Moreover, the teaching culture improves as the community increases the degree of cooperation among teachers, focusing on the processes of learning rather than the accumulation of knowledge. This enables students to be innovative, creative, and critical. In addition, trust is developed among the participants, which enables them to discuss and analyze their students’ cognitive and affective problems, misconceptions, and learning outcomes.
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