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ERIC Number: ED514633
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 282
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-8075-1
PLCs Require More than Learning a Secret Handshake: A Case Study of the Transition to Professional Learning Communities in One Midwestern Suburban Middle School
Honnert, Alicia M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Aurora University
In a time of educational reform Professional Learning Communities is one initiative research suggests improves student achievement. The transition from a traditional middle school where content teachers work in isolation to an environment where teachers work in collaboration, necessitates a cultural shift. A qualitative case study was conducted to gain the perspectives of the principal or the sponsor of change, a focus group from the Guiding Coalition or the agents of change, and teachers in one PLC or the targets of change. Findings included: (1) the need for support for leadership; (2) professional learning about implementation for the Guiding Coalition; (3) communication of clear goals and roles; (4) systematic approach for curriculum development; (5) professional learning about assessments, data, and interventions for teachers; (6) utilization of goals to identify successes; (7) adjusting to collaboration; (8) need to develop a structure that blends the middle school philosophy with Professional Learning Communities; (9) a need to commit to collaboratively developed mission; (10) develop shared values and goals; (11) a focus on short-term and long term goals; and (12) the need for a cyclical process. Recommendations are made: (1) to develop a systematic approach to provide support to the leaders of change; (2) to provide professional learning to Guiding Coalition to build capacity; (3) to establish a communication system, (4) to synchronize efforts of curriculum development; (5) to provide professional learning for assessments and analysis procedures; (6) to set goals and acknowledge success; (7) to increase expectations for collaboration; (8) to adjust school structure to support middle school concept and PLC philosophy; (9) to commit to collaboratively developed mission and norms to create a cultural change; (10) to support a shared mission, vision, values and goals to improve student learning; (11) to set and monitor short and long-term goals; and (12) to expect and embrace a cyclical process. These recommendations will help to create the flexibility needed to face dynamic complexity, to empower participants and to reduce the fears that accompany change. This study will enlighten the educational community about one middle school's experiences moving to a culture of Professional Learning Communities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A