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ERIC Number: EJ921625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Identifying Elements Critical for Functional and Sustainable Professional Learning Communities
Richmond, Gail; Manokore, Viola
Science Education, v95 n3 p543-570 May 2011
In this paper, we examined data collected as part of a 5-year project designed to foster reform-based urban science teaching through teachers' communities of inquiry. Drawing upon a distributed leadership framework, we analyzed teacher "talk" during professional learning community (PLC) meetings. This analysis yielded five elements: teacher learning and collaboration, community formation, confidence in knowledge of content and guided inquiry, concerns about the impact of accountability measures on teaching and learning, and sustainability of reform. Follow-up interviews with participants reinforced the importance of these elements. While accountability measures were found to have a significant impact on science teaching, participants were also able to use their PLC-based experiences to develop strategies to deal with such external constraints. Facilitation and leadership also play key roles in establishing and maintaining PLCs in this urban setting. Finally, we present a revised framework that incorporates the elements we identified to describe those local and systemic factors critical for successful implementation and influence of professional development efforts. (Contains 1 figure and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED544210