Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Impact of Professional Learning Community Design on Teacher Instruction
by Turner, Carol Jeanette, Ed.D., University of Arkansas, 2015, 131; 3684227
Abstract (Summary)

This descriptive case study closely examined a professional learning community in an Arkansas middle school. The site was selected because the school was removed from the state's school improvement list after implementing professional learning communities. The purpose of the study was to determine how the design of a professional learning community impacts teacher instruction in a middle school setting. The literature reviewed included historical perspective, definitions and characteristics of professional learning communities, teacher professional development, and teacher effect on student achievement. Eight teachers, one principal, and one instructional facilitator were interviewed about the professional learning communities in their school. The interviews focused on the characteristics of professional learning communities and the perceived impact of professional learning communities on instructional practices. Observations of professional learning community meetings were conducted, and related documents were also reviewed. The data revealed that a culture of collaboration, data-driven decisions, and supportive leadership impact instruction. Combined, these three factors created the conditions for teachers to build their capacity and provide better instruction to students. The data also revealed that the annual school-wide book studies were an important aspect of professional development for the teachers at this school; many described it as the most beneficial professional learning community strategy utilized by the school.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Holt, Carleton
Commitee: Lo, Wenjuo, Penner-Williams, Janet
School: University of Arkansas
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Educational leadership
Keywords: Professional learning communities, Teacher leadership, Teacher professional development
Publication Number: 3684227
ISBN: 978-1-321-59091-3
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