Date of Award

5-2018

Type

Dissertation

Major

Doctor of Education

Department

Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine teacher perceptions on the contributions of professional learning communities (PLCs) to teacher development and team development. Research and data assert that PLCs are a vehicle through which to affect school improvement, building student achievement. Attributes and characteristics of PLCs are documented in literature; however, little research or data is available on how PLCs affect teachers or teams therein through the collaborative processes PLCs implement. Through interviews and focus groups, the researcher gathered data from 15 participants in one middle Georgia secondary school. The respondents discussed their perceptions on how their PLC experiences have contributed to their individual teacher and their whole team’s development. Participants represented content teams within the four academic departments (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies), which have PLCs implemented for collaborative learning. Findings indicated that teachers recognized positive and negative impacts of PLCs on their teacher and team development in the following categories: impact on growth and change, impact on learning, and socialization and culture. Respondents additionally made observations about other teams within their departments and about the school’s PLC processes, as a whole. Overall, the study concluded that PLCs influence teacher and team development, with socialization and culture being vital to the outcomes for teachers and teams.

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