Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effects of Professional Learning Communities in Alabama Black Belt Schools: Case Study
by Stewart, Keith Allen, Ed.D., Grand Canyon University, 2014, 227; 3619414
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the effects of professional learning communities (PLCs) in Alabama Black Belt schools. Alabama's Black Belt has many challenges, such as poverty, high concentration of students from low-income households, struggling schools, and repercussions of the No Child Left Behind Act. The researcher identified school-related factors that were beneficial to student achievement. One such factor was PLCs. However, it was not known if PLCs were the reason sustained student achievement was achieved in the Park County School District. Fifteen educators participated in this study. Four research questions guided this study. Through this case study, data were collected, coded, thematically analyzed, and interpreted to identify factors that may have enabled the Park County School District to sustain student achievement. Despite the challenges that exist throughout the Black Belt region, the dedicated professionals who work in the Park County School District found ways to educate children from poverty households. One important factor to their success was PLCs. PLCs provided opportunities for educators to influence student achievement through collaboration on instructional practice, leadership, and shared decision-making.

Keywords: Achievement, black belt, poverty, professional learning communities, education, teachers, school administrators.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Piercy, Gary
Commitee: Jazzar, Michael, Wessinger, Christopher M.
School: Grand Canyon University
Department: College of Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational psychology
Keywords: Achievement, Black belt, Education, Poverty, Professional learning communities, Teachers
Publication Number: 3619414
ISBN: 9781303884580
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