Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perception or reality: An examination of staff perceptions of professional learning communities in relation to student achievement
by Wyler, Karen Joy, Ph.D., Capella University, 2008, 124; 3320835
Abstract (Summary)

Research was conducted to describe and compare the staff's perception of professional learning communities (PLCs) and the impact on student achievement in a rural Georgia school system. The quantitative, non-experimental, causal-comparative study utilized student learning data, demographic data, and findings from the leadership and professional learning standards from the Georgia Assessment of the Performance of School Standards (GAPSS) Analysis. These data were examined for relationships to the perceived development of each school's PLC. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory's School Professional Staff as Learning Community Questionnaire (Hord, 1996) instrument was utilized to assess perceptions of where staff members believed their school was functioning as a PLC. The findings indicated that administrators and teachers varied in their perceptions of Shared Leadership. Shared Leadership, an attribute of PLCs was negatively associated with student achievement in Reading/English Language Arts, while Shared Vision and Values was positively associated with student achievement in Math. Shared Leadership was significantly correlated to the learning community rating and with the leadership team rating from the GAPSS Analysis. Leadership is crucial in establishing and sustaining a professional learning community. Consequently, future research studies should examine the role that superintendents, principals, and assistant principals play in establishing and sustaining an effective PLC.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Redditt, Charisse
Commitee: Creel, Wanda, Rogers, Carolyn
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration
Keywords: Achievement, Adult learning theory, Collaboration, Leadership, Professional learning communities
Publication Number: 3320835
ISBN: 978-0-549-74648-5
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