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ERIC Number: ED554911
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-3563-7
A Qualitative Exploration of the Perceptions of a Special Education Professional Learning Community
Katz, Marc
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Professional learning communities (PLCs) have been used as a format for encouraging formal collaboration among teachers. The topic of the completed study is the perceptions of special education teachers regarding how special education PLCs meet formal collaboration needs, particularly in terms of isolation. The problem is that special education teachers can feel isolated from other special education teachers, general education teachers, and school personnel. Participation in a PLC may alleviate this sense of isolation with benefits to the teachers, their students, and school administrators. Therefore, the purpose was to explore the perceptions of special education teachers regarding how special education PLCs address formal collaboration needs, particularly in terms of isolation. A qualitative multiple case study was conducted. The population of interest consisted of educators involved in special education PLCs and the sample for this study was 12 elementary special education teachers from two schools in Queens, New York. The data were collected from semistructured interviews conducted with the special education teachers, journals maintained by the special education teachers, and informal observations of the PLCs. The results from this study indicated that the participants had felt a significant amount of isolation prior to the implementation of the PLC, but that the sense of isolation was reduced through participation in the PLC. In addition, all of the teachers in the current sample had felt a lack of formal collaboration as special educators, but this was increased through participation in the PLC. Based on these findings, it is recommended that special education teachers at other schools should attempt to develop PLCs so that they can experience these benefits. Future studies should be focused on replicating the results from the current study and determining whether or not participation in a special education PLC results in changes in teaching practices and improvements in student achievement. [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
Identifiers - Location: New York