The high expectations of the standards movement, the many budgetary constraints, and the societal challenges of living in cities are some of the complexities principals in urban districts face when trying to serve the needs of children in their schools. This research explores an intervention model of principal professional learning communities (PPLCs) that bridges the gap between the districts’ goals and priorities and the ways schools are addressing them. Nine principals using the PPLC model experienced collaboration, support, and collective accountability with their peers. Furthermore, as a result of their collaboration and support, principals examined their own practices in specific areas of observation and feedback, how they used their leadership teams to support next steps, and how they created opportunities for professional development. Qualitative data collection took place through surveys, observations, and interviews.
The study findings indicated that a common learning experience like the PPLC is a valuable tool for principal learning and development. Principals reported that the development of relational trust was an essential reason why principals valued collaboration, and why they supported each other in the PPLC. Principals also became internally motivated to coach, support, and mentor their peers, and they developed a collective accountability in which they aligned themselves with the goals of the district. In addition, the findings indicated that conducting learning walks together and collaborating about instructional practices in the PPLC helped principals to reflect on their own instructional practices in their own schools. Principals could then use the strategies they learned from observation and feedback, working with their leadership teams and developing professional development to structure the next steps for better implementation of pedagogy.
|Advisor:||Supovitz, Jonathan A.|
|Commitee:||McKee, Annie, Mitchell, Derek|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational administration|
|Keywords:||Leadership, Principals, Professional learning community|
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