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ERIC Number: EJ1165389
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-161X
The Role of Departmental Leadership for Professional Learning Communities
Vanblaere, Bénédicte; Devos, Geert
Educational Administration Quarterly, v54 n1 p85-114 Feb 2018
Purpose: Department heads play a pivotal role in the functioning of departments in secondary schools. However, quantitative research about the role of departmental leadership for the development of professional learning communities (PLCs) in subject departments in secondary schools remains scarce. As PLCs are seen as promising contexts for teachers' continuous professional development, it is highly relevant to study how department heads can facilitate PLC characteristics in their department. Research methodology: This study examines how two dimensions of departmental leadership (group- and development-oriented) relate to interpersonal PLC characteristics in departments. Survey data were collected from 248 experienced mathematics and French teachers in 62 departments in secondary schools in Flanders (Belgium). Two multilevel regression analyses were conducted with collective responsibility and reflective dialogue as dependent interpersonal PLC characteristics. We controlled for several demographic teacher variables and structural departmental variables. Findings: Our results nurture optimism about the potential of departmental leadership for interpersonal PLC characteristics. More specifically, teachers who perceive high group-oriented departmental leadership experience more collective responsibility in their department. Furthermore, teachers' perceptions of both group-oriented and development-oriented departmental leadership are significantly related to the reported frequency of teachers' reflective dialogues. Implications: This study suggests that department heads play a critical role in facilitating interpersonal PLC characteristics in departments. As a result, department heads need to be carefully selected and adequately supported. As this article is one of the first to offer a quantitative perspective on this matter, it offers an instrument for future studies and informs policy about departmental leadership practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A