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ERIC Number: ED550146
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 204
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-1356-3
The Influence of Leadership Practices and Guiding Values on Professional Relationships within Professional Learning Communities
Ricken, Jeremy S.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Illinois State University
The purpose of this study is to determine how the leadership practices and guiding values of a professional learning community affect the nature of the professional relationships among teachers. For purposes of this study, professional relationships are defined as the purposeful interactions, communications, and connections between teachers directly related to accomplishing teaching and learning objectives. I employ a basic interpretivist study utilizing inquiry strategies and associated processes for data collection regarding the professional relationships of teachers, including interviews, focus groups, observations and artifacts; and analyze data for patterns and relationships. The participant schools were selected using Hord's (1997) characteristics of a professional learning community. These characteristics include supportive and shared leadership, collective creativity, shared values and vision, supportive conditions, and shared personal practice. I present data from both study sites organized around five themes: (a) essential nature of time, (b) sharing of leadership, (c) faces of the leader, (d) strength in small numbers, and (e) assessing the journey. I also identify other, more complex, elements such as teacher perceptions of shared leadership, teacher perceptions of principal leadership style, and strength of relationships within small groups. I present an analysis of data through two conceptual frameworks. The first is comprised of shared-leadership concepts defined by professional learning community theorists: Dufour & Eaker, 1998; Hipp & Huffman, 2002; and Hord, 1997. I also perform analysis using Anyon's (1980) concept of social reproduction and her argument defining social class as a series of relations between ownership, others, and one's productivity. I discuss three major findings related to the implementation of PLCs as a means to improve student achievement in low-performing schools. First, implementing PLCs in a low-performing, economically disadvantaged school requires non-traditional leadership. Second, PLCs in economically disadvantaged schools differ markedly from the textbook ideal. And finally, PLCs alone do not affect social mobility for students. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A