Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions of supportive leadership behaviors for Professional Learning Communities in secondary schools
by Bertsch, Craig C., Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2012, 131; 3528605
Abstract (Summary)

This research examined the relationship between secondary school teachers' perceptions of principal support for Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and their perceptions of actual principal leadership behaviors. Research posits that PLCs, with effective leadership, can positively influence teachers' perceptions of effective instruction and positively influence student achievement. Leaders from the district chosen for this study believe that PLCs have improved teacher efficacy and student achievement. However, there was a lack of data regarding the implementation of PLCs at the various sites as well as regarding the presence of appropriate supportive behaviors by site principals as a means to ensure optimal implementation.

A total of 116 secondary English and mathematics teachers from four middle schools and two high schools in the same district responded to a 60-item questionnaire, Professional Learning Communities-Revised (PLCA-R). PLCA-R surveyed teachers' perceptions of valuable support for professional learning communities and their perceptions of actual principal leadership practices in the five dimensions of: (a) shared and supportive leadership, (b) shared values and vision, (c) collective learning and application, (d) shared personal practice, and (e) supportive conditions. Data were analyzed using correlations and multiple regression. The following key findings emerged. First, teachers perceive value in the critical attributes of all five dimensions of PLC support with a slight emphasis on shared values and vision. Second, teachers felt that they were receiving great support from the principal in all five dimensions with a slight emphasis on shared values and vision. Third, teachers' perceptions of principal support could be predicted by their perceptions of shared and supportive leadership, their knowledge of the characteristics of PLCs, and the level of support from district office administrators. Interestingly, teachers' knowledge of PLCs is negatively associated with their perceptions of actual principal's support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Adler, Louise
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration
Keywords: PLCs, Principal behavior, Principal leadership, Principals, Professional learning communities, Supportive behaviors, Survey research
Publication Number: 3528605
ISBN: 978-1-267-61763-7
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