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Principals' perceptions of professional learning communities

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Date Issued:
2004
Summary:
This multi-site case study focused on principals who participated in a unique professional development model: a learning community. The study was twofold. First, research was conducted in order to describe the experiences and perceptions of principals involved in a professional learning community and second, to understand how participation in a professional learning community influences principals' thinking and leadership practice. This inquiry was conducted in two districts located in the northeast and southeast parts of the United States. The sample consisted of twenty-one participants: sixteen principals, four learning community coaches, and one administrative director. Data was collected from 21 interviews, 39 hours of observations, and 66 documents. The study revealed nine major findings. The research found that the learning community provided a new level of professional development for principals and eliminated isolation. It was found that the demands of the principal's position limit the depth of involvement. The role of the learning community coach is significant. It was also found that challenges exist in sustaining the learning community. Goals of the learning community emerged as the group developed and perceptions of principals' work varied. Further, membership in the learning community fostered the principal's role as lead staff developer. Finally, there was evidence that changed professional practice and thinking exists for principals who participated in the learning community. Recommendations for design, establishing a system of accountability, promoting district and state support, and future research are provided. The design of the learning community needs a clearer, more defined role of the principal. A system of accountability, including documentation and evidence of improved performance may assist by giving credibility to the model. Documentation and evidence may also enlist the support of the district and state, which is greatly needed for sustaining this model. Finally, further research is needed regarding professional development for principals, particularly learning communities.
Title: Principals' perceptions of professional learning communities.
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Name(s): Ball, Louise A., author
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Maslin-Ostrowski, Patricia, Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, FL
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 150 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This multi-site case study focused on principals who participated in a unique professional development model: a learning community. The study was twofold. First, research was conducted in order to describe the experiences and perceptions of principals involved in a professional learning community and second, to understand how participation in a professional learning community influences principals' thinking and leadership practice. This inquiry was conducted in two districts located in the northeast and southeast parts of the United States. The sample consisted of twenty-one participants: sixteen principals, four learning community coaches, and one administrative director. Data was collected from 21 interviews, 39 hours of observations, and 66 documents. The study revealed nine major findings. The research found that the learning community provided a new level of professional development for principals and eliminated isolation. It was found that the demands of the principal's position limit the depth of involvement. The role of the learning community coach is significant. It was also found that challenges exist in sustaining the learning community. Goals of the learning community emerged as the group developed and perceptions of principals' work varied. Further, membership in the learning community fostered the principal's role as lead staff developer. Finally, there was evidence that changed professional practice and thinking exists for principals who participated in the learning community. Recommendations for design, establishing a system of accountability, promoting district and state support, and future research are provided. The design of the learning community needs a clearer, more defined role of the principal. A system of accountability, including documentation and evidence of improved performance may assist by giving credibility to the model. Documentation and evidence may also enlist the support of the district and state, which is greatly needed for sustaining this model. Finally, further research is needed regarding professional development for principals, particularly learning communities.
Identifier: 9780496673841 (isbn), 12074 (digitool), FADT12074 (IID), fau:8986 (fedora)
Degree granted: Thesis (Ed.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2004.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): College of Education
Subject(s): Career development
Educational leadership
School principals
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/12074
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.