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ERIC Number: ED561432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 192
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-7752-2
Sustaining Professional Learning Communities through Teacher Leadership
Jennings, Karen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Professional learning communities (PLCs), with their attributes of shared values, high expectations, and collaboration, have the potential to change school culture. The 4 elementary schools in this study have been unable to sustain ongoing, effective teamwork, resulting in a failure to attain adequate progress, and in 2 schools, in the placement of a school improvement plan. This study's purpose was to tie leadership constructs to sustaining PLCs. Guided by the work of DuFour and DuFour, this sequential, explanatory mixed methods study examined the connection between teacher leadership, increased collaboration, and improved student learning. The research questions addressed the link between collaboration and the process of sustaining PLCs, the necessary leadership skills, and the professional development models best applied to promote collaboration. Quantitative data were collected using a leadership survey with a sample size of 35 elementary teachers. The 3 teachers with the highest scores on the leadership survey and the 3 with the lowest scores were interviewed in focus groups to produce qualitative data. The data collected from the interviews were transcribed and coded in order to identify the existing leadership skills and the key elements of PLCs. Those results revealed that teachers used minimal reflection on their teaching, made only token data-driven decisions, and had trust issues in their teams. Survey data indicated that data usage and leadership participation were the least practiced constructs. Both sets of findings informed the training model supporting collaboration which will provide teachers with critical leadership essentials needed for a culture change to sustain PLCs. This study's potential social impact includes amplified teacher leadership leading to increased teacher collaboration and improved student achievement in district schools. [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