ERIC Number: EJ1104413
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Views of Learning and a Sense of Community among Students, Paraprofessionals and Parents in Developing a School Culture towards a Professional Learning Community
Svanbjörnsdóttir, Birna M.; Macdonald, Allyson; Frímannsson, Guðmundur H.
Professional Development in Education, v42 n4 p589-609 2016
In schools the participation of students, parents and paraprofessionals is important because it increases ownership and improves performance. Here the focus is on students' and paraprofessionals' learning and a sense of community when leaders try to develop a professional learning community in a new school in Iceland. An action research project lasting three-and-a-half years was used in the school. The researcher worked closely with two school leaders. Data were acquired through interviews, observations and reflections and from national assessments. Teachers and school leaders dominate the community but results show signs of the involvement of others in the school. Teachers take responsibility, seldom consulting with paraprofessionals. The students have a choice on "how" and "when" in learning while teachers decide "what" they learn. The leaders should find a structure to involve the school aides in the teams to promote team diversity. The leaders and teams have to explore collaboration and discussion, not least with students. Leaders should involve parents in critical reflection on the school policy and increase structured and formal paths for their participation. The involvement of students in the development of the professional learning community was strengthened by the 'Positive Discipline' approach, which gave them an opportunity to discuss learning in a safe environment.
Descriptors: Sense of Community, Paraprofessional School Personnel, Parent Attitudes, Student Attitudes, School Culture, Communities of Practice, Action Research, Interviews, Observation, Reflection, National Competency Tests, Group Dynamics, Facilitators (Individuals), Student Empowerment, Student Participation, Parent Participation, Professional Education, Learning Experience, Focus Groups, Elementary School Students, Middle School Students, Program Effectiveness, Foreign Countries
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iceland