Holding the Reins of the Professional Learning Community: Eight Themes from Research on Principals Perceptions of Professional Learning CommunitiesReport as inadecuate




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Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, n90 p1-22 Feb 2009

Using a naturalistic inquiry approach and thematic analysis, this paper outlines the findings of a research study that examined 12 Manitoba principals' conceptions of professional learning communities. The study found that these principals consider the development of professional learning communities to be a normative imperative within the educational culture of their schools, yet their understandings of what constitutes a professional learning community, as defined by Toole & Louis (2002) are varied and partially limited. However, the principals suggested that there are eight dominant themes that are central in their conceptions of "professional learning community." The themes are: professional learning communities are about process; structural supports enable the development of professional learning communities; trust as the foundation for adult relationships; congenial relationships dominate conceptions of community; learning is an individual activity; professional teaching is derived from attitudinal attributes; teacher evaluation shapes how principals think about learning in professional communities; and, teacher evaluation impacts principal and teacher relationships in professional learning communities.

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Faculty Development, Principals, Communities of Practice, Discourse Communities, Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Interviews, Focus Groups, Psychological Characteristics

Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada. Tel: 204-474-9004; Fax: 204-474-7564; e-mail: cjeapadm[at]cc.umanitoba.ca; Web site: http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap





Author: Cranston, Jerome

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=3433&id=EJ842519







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