Teachers’ Perceptions of Leadership Practices in the Implementation of Professional Learning Communities
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Districts have long faced the challenge of creating and sustaining effective leadership. Today’s school leaders are expected to perform at a higher level than ever before with increased accountability for student achievement. They need to create and maintain a challenging learning environment, focus on excellence, and serve as a positive agent for change (Hipp & Huffman, 2010). Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) provide an opportunity for leaders to improve school performance by improving student achievement (Hipp & Huffman, 2010). School culture can be changed to a culture of hope by using the principles of PLCs that are at the heart of successful education reform (DuFour & Fullan, 2013). The purpose of this study was to describe the teachers’ beliefs of five leadership practices as defined by the Leadership Practices Inventory [LPI] (Kouzes & Posner, 2013). Moreover, this study described the teachers’ beliefs of the implementation of the six dimensions of their PLC, defined by the Professional Learning Community Assessment-Revised [PLCA-R] (Oliver et al., 2014), in elementary and intermediate This is a quantitative study where the results of two survey instruments will be analyzed with a descriptive statistical analysis to describe the teachers’ beliefs of their principals’ leadership practices in addition to their beliefs of the six dimensions of their professional learning community. The goal was to determine the beliefs of leadership practices that could have the greatest positive impact on the implementation of the six dimensions of a PLC. The results of the LPI found evidence that all five leadership practices were perceived by teachers to be occurring in the schools studied. Two ix practices, Model the Way and Inspire a Shared Vision emerged most often. The results of the PLCA-R revealed that teachers in all the schools studied were focused on student learning, collaboration and results orientation. Additionally, teachers on these campuses understand and are committed to the vision of the school, to its goals for instruction, and its priorities (DuFour et al., 2008).