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Allocating teaching staff to support PLC's

Teaching staff, along with students, constitute the core resources for all schools. How teachers are assigned to students, classes and school-wide responsibilities can facilitate or impede the mentoring and teacher collaboration essential to induction.

In their research in both traditional schools and schools that had improved student performance through innovative use of teaching staff, Miles and Darling-Hammond (1997a, 1997b, 1995) identified the principles and practices that support teachers’ professional learning communities. These include:

1) Allocating more positions to classroom teaching rather than to supplementary or specialized staffing roles;

2) Assigning students to fewer teachers each day for longer periods;

3) Organizing workdays so teachers can work in teams that serve common groups of students and that plan together.

See the Allocating teaching staff principles and practices chart for further ideas drawn from Miles and Darling-Hammond’s research on how you can allocate teaching staff to support teachers’ collaborative learning.


•Miles, K.H., & Darling-Hammond, L. (1997a). Rethinking the allocation of teaching resources: Some lessons from high performing schools. Philadelphia, PA: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.
• Darling-Hammond, L. (1997b). The right to learn: A blueprint for creating schools that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
• Miles, K.H. (1995). Freeing resources for improving schools: A case study of teacher allocation in Boston public schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 17, 476-493.