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Leading professional learning communities that focus on student learning

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Item Summary

Title: Leading professional learning communities that focus on student learning
Authors: Delong, Lisa A.
Keywords: case study
Issue Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Abstract: Hawaiʻi's public schools are adopting statewide reforms aimed at preparing all students for college and career opportunities (Hawaiʻi Department of Education [HIDOE], n.d.). These shifts reflect national reforms and require school leaders to learn new roles and responsibilities to ensure rigor and consistent practices across grade K-12 settings (DuFour & Marzano, 2011). It is messy and complicated work because changing one function of the statewide organization can significantly impact other parts. The state's system-wide adoption of Hawaiʻi Common Core Standards (HCCS), for example, has implications for professional development and curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices (HIDOE, n.d.). This study describes the current federal and local education climate and explores the power of professional learning communities (PLCs) to meet the challenges of current reforms.
A case study was conducted at Makana Public Charter School (MPCS), a pseudonym, to address the question, "How can a school effectively develop and sustain professional learning communities that focus on student learning?" The study finds that, while the principal plays a key role in establishing supportive conditions for PLCs, teacher leadership is critical to the effective implementation and sustainability of these communities of practice. In this study, the principal demonstrated a strong background in instructional leadership and professional development. This foundation appeared to help him understand the steps and nuances required in establishing supportive conditions for collaborative practices such as allocating resources, establishing a culture of trust, involving faculty in key decisions, and guiding interactions within the PLC meetings. Teacher leadership was also key in the implementation of PLCs as this role group supported and held one another accountable for achieving shared agreements around academic and behavior expectations. This study can inform the work of others who are interested in leveraging collaborative practices to impact professional learning and improve student outcomes.
Description: D.Ed. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ed.D. - Professional Practice

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