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ERIC Number: ED548180
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 199
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-8212-2
Middle School Science Teachers' Beliefs about and Reflections on Teaching and Learning Science within a Nascent Professional Learning Community: A Qualitative Exploration
Gioe, Lisa M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This dissertation explored the beliefs of five members of a nascent professional learning community for middle school science teachers over the first semester of its existence. A professional learning community is a place for colleagues to voice and hear beliefs, and is particularly conducive to fostering the development of one's own beliefs. Professional learning communities have the potential to serve as an effective method of professional development for teachers, with the ultimate goal of identifying and implementing practices that support student learning. In my research study, the creation of a professional learning community served as a medium for bringing science teachers from a large, traditional NYC public middle school, used to working and planning in isolation, together for the first time to talk about their beliefs and practice. I used a qualitative approach to collect and analyze my case study data. I collected transcripts of teacher interview data prior to their participation in the PLC; and transcript data from five 45-minute professional learning community discussions. The strategies I employed to analyze these data included reviews of analytic notes, reviews of transcripts, the development of preliminary codes, and coding and categorizing data to identify emerging themes. Drawing from the literature on professional learning communities and reflection on action, my research identified a sequence of stages unique to nascent professional learning communities that are vital to the development of a PLC forum that will be conducive to discussion about student learning objectives and outcomes. In addition, this research study acknowledges both independent and collaborative teacher reflection on action as effective methods for reported teacher growth and change in practice. The data collected on the nascent PLC within its particular research study has implications for identifying the conditions that support the development of good PLCs and the attributes present within a new PLC that help the discussions evolve from griping to productive reflection on action. A second implication from this research study points to the power of PLCs as a form of professional development towards school change even under the most challenging conditions. [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; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York