Examination of a Failed Professional Learning Community

Rachel L. Sims, G. Richard Penny

Abstract


Schools are using various forms of professional learning communities (PLCs) in order to increase student achievement and improve educational practices through enhanced communication and collaboration among teachers. This study examined a PLC that had too narrow a focus and failed therefore to affect student achievement. A critical shortcoming of the PLC groups examined in the current study had to do with their narrow mission and definition as “Data Teams” and consequentially a constricted focus on narrow metrics. A qualitative case study design was used to gather data through 6 interviews with PLC members and 3 observations of the PLC meetings. Interview data were coded and thematically analyzed based on the research questions posed in the study. The observational data were analyzed using pre-determined categories. The results indicated that the participants perceived the PLC, in its current state, as too focused on a single set of metrics and lacking the time, collaboration, and support needed to be effective.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v3i1.558

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Paper Submission E-mail: jets@redfame.com

Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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