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ERIC Number: ED527970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 104
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-8739-4
Effects of Training in Collaborative Norms on the Development of Professional Learning Communities
Sterr, Ronald
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
Much has been researched and written concerning the structure, attributes, and benefits of the professional learning community (PLC), yet many have found that this highly collaborative model is difficult to implement. One reason for this was that conflict among team members often limited communication and therefore halted collaboration. In an attempt to overcome conflict, the researcher introduced an intervention to five grade-level teaching teams at a suburban elementary school where staff had been struggling to develop teams into PLCs. The intervention consisted of training participants in the use of collaborative norms, and then tracking the use of these norms during team meetings, as well as gathering the teachers' perceptions on how their team was being affected by the use of the norms. Seven training sessions were conducted, each devoted to an individual norm such as pausing, putting ideas on the table, or presuming the positive, and so on. A mixed-methods action research model was utilized in gathering and analyzing the data in this study. Qualitative measures included reflection journals completed by the teachers, open-ended survey questions, and written responses in which the teachers described prior to the intervention and again after the intervention how their team: (1) Is like a PLC, (2) Is not like a PLC, and (3) Is becoming like a PLC. Quantitative measures included a survey of team communication that used questions regarding efficacy, conflict, and candor/trust. Quantitative measures also included an instrument developed as part of the System for Multi-Level Observation of Groups (SYMLOG) which is used for recording evidences of values observed in team members. Results demonstrated increases in teachers' perceptions of friendliness among their colleagues, ability to deal with conflict amicably and constructively, and in teachers' perception that they were now being listened to and understood more than they had been previously. Teachers also reported that they came to think of their team as a PLC, and began to perceive that there were benefits with respect to student achievement because they were becoming a PLC. Discussion focused on lessons learned, implications for practice, and implications for research. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A