The relationship of teacher participation in professional learning communities to the perceptions of reflective practices of elementary school teachers

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Date
2012
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University of Alabama Libraries
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between teacher involvement in professional learning communities (PLC) and their levels of reflections about their professional practices. Teacher reflection levels were studied in two matched groups: one group participated in PLCs between the period of August 2009 and August 2011 and the other group was comprised of teachers not participating in PLCs. The study sought to answer the following research questions: (1) What is the make-up of professional learning communities in public elementary schools within the North Alabama area? (2) Are there differences between the reflective practices of teachers participating in professional learning communities and those not participating in professional learning communities? (3) Are there differences in reflective practices of teachers in a land-based professional learning community as compared to reflection of teachers in a technology-based professional learning community, and of those in a combined professional learning community? The Reflective, Ethical, Moral Assessment Survey (REMAS, Arredondo Rucinski & Bauch, 2006) was used to assess teacher perceptions of their reflective practices in their work environment. Five hundred twelve teachers from north Alabama schools were surveyed; 293 teachers having participated in a professional learning community within the two years of 2009 through 2011; and 219 not having participated in a professional learning community. The data were then compared using analysis of variance. The results revealed more in-depth reflection of teachers participating in specific types of PLC than those with no PLC participation. Teachers having participated in professional learning communities consisting of either face-to-face communication or combined face-to-face and technology-based communications had statistically higher levels of reflection in the Reflective and Ethical Priority domains (p < .005) than those teachers participating in technology-based professional learning communities or no professional learning community. This study provides administrators with insight into the umbrella value of PLC participation and some indications of the possible influences of various types of approaches that will be most beneficial to facilitate reflective practice among their faculties.

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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Keywords
Educational leadership
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