The effective implementation of the critical aspects of professional learning communities (PLCs) by collaborative teams represents a promising practice to improve teaching and learning throughout schools. While much of the existing research and tools to measure PLC implementation has focused on attributes of organizational-level PLC implementation, this study investigated PLC implementation at the collaborative team level. This study used mixed methods to examine the effects of an implementation of PLCs at the collaborative team level on student performance, as measured by the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in reading and mathematics for students in Grades 4 and 5 and to examine the attributes of high-performing collaborative teams (HPCTs). A quasi-experimental design was applied to compare the results of student state assessment data and the perceived levels of PLC implementation. The study included qualitative analysis of processes, perspectives, and characteristics of effective collaborative teams within a PLC model. To identify levels of implementation of PLC structures at the collaborative team level, an analytic rubric that served as a self-reporting instrument was piloted. Analysis of the STAAR results for students who were taught by a collaborative team of teachers identified as an HPCT (top quartile of rubric scores) compared to those taught by a LPCT (bottom quartile of rubric scores) indicated higher average scale scores, more students reaching standards for each proficiency level, and higher progress measures or growth for students taught by teachers belonging to HPCTs. This study confirmed and explored several critical attributes of PLCs that have been identified by researchers in the past three decades. The qualitative analysis revealed several common perspectives, characteristics, and processes across HPCTs. The qualitative analysis of the perspectives, characteristics, and processes of the HPCTs in this study are synthesized into six critical attributes: (a) shared vision, values, and beliefs; (b) a strong collaborative culture; (c) collective commitment and responsibility; (d) a strong focus on student learning; (e) shared, reflective learning and practice; and (f) supportive conditions.
Key Word: Professional Learning Community, Student Academic Achievement, Student Growth, High-Performing Collaborative Teams
|Commitee:||Watwood, Rosie, Einfelt, Lori|
|School:||Concordia University Texas|
|Department:||College of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas, US|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||High-performing collaborative teams, Professional learning community, Student academic achievement, Student growth, Teacher collaboration|
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