A Study on the Development of a Professional Learning Community for a Medium-Sized High School Faculty
Hartsoch, Glen 1968-
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Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) represent a concept that is growing in many parts of the United States. They are an attempt to create an environment in which teachers feel comfortable working together, sharing, and growing as a community of educators. The goal is to improve student performance. This dissertation provides a narrative of a high school currently implementing a PLC on a faculty, which has not had much experience with such a concept. The principal of the school faces challenges as he works in good faith to implement what he believes as proven tactics to improve student performance. At the same time, surveys of the school under study have shown the faculty and other community stakeholders have lost faith in the ability of their school following initial introduction of overlaying PLCs. Teachers find themselves assigned to department and small learning community PLCs. The faculty is focused but unable to articulate their sense of focus in a mission statement and confused on expected expectations. Focus groups that included the entire faculty of the school describe communities of dedicated teachers that desire the conditions a PLC would afford them but remain confused and unsure as they enter into a “flattened” world in which they will need to take more ownership of their own practice at a time in which others are seeking to take control of that ownership as well.