This applied dissertation was designed to improve the professional collaboration in a middle school. Most teachers in the middle school did not work with their colleagues to improve their teaching and their students’ learning. Ongoing, professional learning among colleagues was not a part of the culture of the middle school.
The writer attempted to create two professional learning communities (PLCs) in the middle school. The teachers in the department he leads created a mission statement and established goals that would help the members of the department achieve their newly formulated mission. The writer also facilitated a Critical Friends (CF) group that initially involved 7 educators from 6 departments in the middle school. Those teachers met twice every month for an hour. For the first time in the history of the school, teachers had time embedded into their schedules to experience the sense of professional community and ongoing learning that the CF meetings engendered.
Data were collected through interviews and a survey instrument. Towards the end of the study, the original members of the CF group invited the rest of the faculty to join their meetings. The 3 members of the Talmud department PLC worked collaboratively to produce curriculum, lesson plans, and assessments. Through this study, educators in a middle school found a way to experience ongoing professional development and collaboration. These educators plan to continue to institutionalize and expand these initiatives so that all teachers in the school can experience the professional growth and renewal that results from ongoing professional collaboration.
|School:||Nova Southeastern University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Middle School education|
|Keywords:||Action research, Collaborative teaching, Collegiality, Middle schools, Professional development, Professional learning communities|
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