There is a large body of research that suggests the concept of a professional learning community (PLC) can promote improved student learning by increasing collective teacher capacity to meet the diverse learning needs of students (Reeves, 2016; Battersby & Verdi, 2013; Marzano & DuFour, 2011; Fullan 2010, Senge, 2006; Morrissey, 2000; Hord, 1997). Many schools have implemented PLCs around the world. Despite the well-documented benefits of PLCs, there is inconsistency to the extent with which PLCs are implemented within schools and districts. The purpose of this study was to (a) understand how the elementary division at Progressive Academy of Southeast Asia (PASA), an independent private school, has implemented PLCs; (b) learn about promising practices utilized by high performing PLCs to promote teacher collaboration and high productivity; and (c) understand barriers confronted by PLCs during the PLC process. A qualitative research design was used to understand the implementation process through focus group discussions. Focus group discussions were conducted with all grade levels, kindergarten to grade 5 in the elementary division. Ten themes emerged from the study (1) an alignment of belief in the mission and vision and purpose of PLCs by faculty and administration, (2) the elementary school has implemented systems and structures to support the PLC process, (3) there is a collaborative culture for the PLC process, (4) collective responsibility for student learning is still at its infancy stage, (5) PLCs are results oriented and have clearly established SMART goals that align with the elementary school’s strategic plan, (6) instructional assistants are a strong system of support for learning for students, (7) trust is a key to high performing PLCs, (8) there is a low level of trust in some PLCs, (9) there is a transient faculty, and (10) there are an overwhelming number of initiatives that require the time of PLCs at the school.
|Advisor:||Picus, Lawrence O.|
|Commitee:||Chung, Ruth, Reeves, Douglas|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Southeast Asian studies, Educational leadership, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Professional learning communities|
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