Many school districts are creating professional learning communities (PLCs) in which teachers are grouped for the purpose of collaboratively examining ways to improve student learning. PLCs are based on the assumption that actively engaging teachers in professional conversations will increase their knowledge and enhance student learning. This case study sought to gain insight into these conversations through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. According to this theory, if participants (i.e. teachers) offer reasoned opinion expressions and are inclusive of all group members, then they will be challenged to revise their viewpoints, leading to instructional change. The study involved observations of and interviews with three PLCs comprised of elementary, middle, and high school teachers within the same district. It was determined that these groups casually deliberated by sharing opinions on resources and teaching strategies that could be used with students. They listened to one another, shared personal experiences, asked questions, participated equally, and engaged in the topics of discussion to inform their own professional decisions. The teachers reported sharing instructional resources and strategies as a benefit of participating in a PLC, although the implementation of those resources was strongly influenced by a teacher's self-efficacy with the strategy. Teachers also reported the difficulty they experienced in deeply analyzing student data, not wanting to make a judgment about a group member's past performance. Overall, teachers stated that their perspectives were expanded based on the deliberations they held.
|Commitee:||Frey, Bruce, Mahlios, Marc, Perkins, Perry, White, Steven|
|School:||University of Kansas|
|Department:||Curriculum and Teaching|
|School Location:||United States -- Kansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Collaboration, Deliberation, Professional learning community|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be