Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Mixed-Method Study of Teacher Perceptions of Learning Communities
by Becker, Christopher Allen, Ed.D., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 164; 10267140
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to understand teacher perceptions of learning community principles, practices, and processes at Highland High School, and to determine if teacher practices had changed due to the LC framework. The study also explored teacher perceptions towards creating a more engaging and effective LC that extends beyond current practices. This mixed-methods action research study blended quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis through a faculty survey, teacher interviews, and document collection at an Illinois high school. Study results conclude: (1) teachers perceived time, support, and vision as fundamental, (2) faculty worked together to teach, learn, and share, (3) faculty viewed the LC as a top-down initiative when driven by educational mandates and reforms, which restricts shared leadership, decision-making, and teacher autonomy, (4) student engaged learning is perceived as a focal point within the LC, (5) teachers perceived professional development opportunities as necessary, and (6) teachers perceived climate and culture as important in the LC. Most teachers felt the LC framework generally supported LC practices and principles that encouraged change and action, although some indicated a focus on mandates was problematic. Study implications suggest a LC framework may be more likely to improve teaching, learning, and professional practices when it contains time for faculty to work, a clearly defined vision, cross-curricular collaboration, tri-level engagement, and shared and distributed leadership practices that empower faculty to make decisions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reeves, Alison
Commitee: Buckley, Phillip, Puchner, Laurel
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Education philosophy
Keywords: Collaboration, Learning communities, PLCs, Peer learning, Professional learning communities, Teaching and learning
Publication Number: 10267140
ISBN: 978-1-369-79689-6
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