Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Collaborative Learning Communities

Teaching is a profession that relies on a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and expertise, but often this is done in the isolation of an individual teacher’s classroom experience. Increasingly, teachers are finding that opportunities to build knowledge and expertise collectively is much more useful and rewarding.

Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs) enable teachers to meet in groups to discuss mutual interests and concerns about teaching and learning. They can improvise, innovate based on research and evidence, and share their findings with their similarly interested colleagues.

CLC’s will provide the opportunity to engage in the themes of Kindergarten, Mathematics, Technology and/or Well-being. These CLC’s will allow teachers to explore and share solutions to common professional dilemmas through action research, by developing resources, and/or implementing new instructional strategies.

How do I form a CLC?

Regular full time teachers or subject specialists, long term occasional teachers and occasional teachers at both the elementary or secondary levels are eligible to form a CLC. Choices of topic or participation are not limited by your current teaching assignment. A teacher of French as a Second Language (FSL) might partner with regular classroom teachers to develop resources to enrich mathematics strategies in both the regular classroom and the FSL classroom.

What is Required of Applicants?

  1. Each group selects a facilitator. A video training link will be sent to all successful facilitators in October. Viewing of this link is mandatory.
  2. Group members meet for eight half days or four full days to pursue an issue of their choosing based on one or more of the focus areas listed above. Group members are expected to co-ordinate these dates with OECTA staff and submit them in advance. Dates cannot be changed once confirmed. Please ensure dates do not conflict with school board activities.
  3. Group members conduct an action research project, develop materials, conduct lesson studies or jointly implement new strategies in their classrooms.
  4. Group members, through the facilitator, produce a report on their learning and are prepared to share their learning with others in the spring of 2018.

How do I submit my application?

Form a learning community of up to four members and submit a team project proposal. One team member, acting as group facilitator, should submit the proposal. Applications are due no later than September 27. Priority will be given to first time applicants.

Please forward completed applications to Riley Watson via email: or fax: 416-925-5251. Successful project leads will be notified by October 6.

Download Application PDF

Published CLC Resources

The publication Collaborative Learning Communities was developed to assist teachers who are interested in establishing CLCs for their own professional learning. Each section provides specific guidance on the stages of developing a CLC. The adjoining appendices provide projects and resources for the group.

During the 2009-10 school year, OECTA’s Professional Development department, with Ministry of Education funds, invited applications from teachers across the province to create CLCs in differentiated instruction, early learning, French (FSL and immersion), math, media literacy, technology, social justice, and virtues. The following are some of the resources produced.

Faith in Action

Developed by: Aideen Moss, Lisa Claro, Bev Gregory and Tara Warren-Vrbanc

This series of lessons is for secondary teachers teaching the HRE 4M course. They focus on building an understanding of the links between living gospel values and affecting social change.

Teaching Student-Centred Math: The Three-Part Lesson

Developed by: Janice Smith, Ryan Ferguson, and Anthony Pappas

This project includes a video and six lesson plans designed to assit teachers of blended Grade 6 and 7 classrooms incorporate the two sets of expectations into their mathematics lessons.

Practical Applications for Handheld Devices in the Classroom

Developed by: Christopher Beacom, Robert D’Alessio, and Danik LaFleur

This resource provides three detailed lesson plans for practical applications for hand-held devices (e.g. cellphones, iPods) in the secondary English classroom. Also included is a sample letter to parents

Using Outdoor Education to Enhance Literacy and Numeracy

Developed by Christina Lucciantonio and Corrine Boudrea

This resource provides hands-on, outdoor activities related to literacy and numeracy expectations for Grades 3 and 4. The project was one of several Ministry of Education funded Collaborative Learning Communities, and was intended to promote teacher action research with practical applications to the classroom.