ERIC Number: ED438992
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Assessing Pre-Intervention Capacity for Change in a High-Need Rural School District.
Nilsen, Kristine L.
A technical assistance project in a rural Virginia school district included the goal of building professional learning communities among the district's teachers. Three instruments that measure various elements of a learning community culture were scheduled to be administered to teachers at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the 4-year project. This report examines results from spring 1997--the first administration of the measures, which assess school effectiveness, feelings of empowerment among staff, and perceptions of the schools as learning communities. The instruments were completed by 71 of the district's 89 professional staff. The results provide a picture of a school division that was grappling with daunting challenges but was equipped with a number of strengths. The staff believed they were good teachers, believed they worked with good teachers, and wanted to make a difference in children's lives. The staff wanted to grow professionally, but it was difficult for staff to function as a professional learning community because structures within the schools did not support decision-making models that maximize teacher input and power. Teachers were not meaningfully engaged in school decision-making, were ambivalent about the existence of a strong and shared vision, reported only modest collaborative activity among teachers, and lacked a collective focus on student learning. Recommendations are offered for development of the professional learning community. Appendices include the survey instruments. (Contains 41 references, 19 data tables, and 12 figures.) (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: AEL, Inc., Charleston, WV.