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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Daniel Carpenter

– The purpose of this paper is to explore supportive and shared leadership structures at schools as a function of school culture policies and procedures.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore supportive and shared leadership structures at schools as a function of school culture policies and procedures.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted at three secondary schools in the Midwestern USA. Administrators and teachers were interviewed, professional learning communities observed and artifacts collected to explore school culture policies, procedures and leadership in the implementation of professional learning community practice.

Findings

This study concludes that school leaders must provide supportive and shared leadership structures for teachers in order to ensure a positive school culture and effective professional learning communities that impact school improvement. Leaders in schools must work directly with teachers to create policies and procedures that provide teachers the leadership structure to directly impact school improvement through professional learning community collaborative efforts.

Originality/value

This study builds on the school culture and professional learning communities literature by exploring existent policies and practices in schools as unique cases. Much of the literature calls for specific case studies to identify issues in the implementation of effective practice. This study is important to the community as specific cases that may inform educational leaders on mechanisms that may be leveraged to ensure successful implementation of policies and procedures outline in school culture and professional learning community literature.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2015

Michal Golan and Rivka Reichenberg

The MOFET Institution, which began under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, is Israel’s national center for research and professional development on teacher

Abstract

The MOFET Institution, which began under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, is Israel’s national center for research and professional development on teacher education. It consists of three communities: (1) the Writing Channel; (2) the Study Channel; and (3) the Research Channel. MOFET additionally has an Academic Committee that assists the aforementioned communities in their deliberations if needed. Although the MOFET Institute deals with multiple and sometimes conflicting agendas (i.e., Ministry of Education, participating teacher education colleges, the institute’s own goals), it remains one of the most unique and powerful ways to nationally address teacher education research and dissemination and the development of teacher educators in the world.

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Hanifi Parlar, Mahmut Polatcan and Ramazan Cansoy

Professional learning communities that merge under the same goal in schools where social relationship networks are strong can contribute to creating an atmosphere which…

Abstract

Purpose

Professional learning communities that merge under the same goal in schools where social relationship networks are strong can contribute to creating an atmosphere which provides a basis for innovativeness. In this study the relationships between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities were examined through the views of teachers working at public schools. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The data of this study, which utilised correlational survey model, were collected from 734 teachers who work in the Umraniye district of Istanbul, Turkey.

Findings

The findings revealed that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities. The results demonstrated that teachers’ perceptions of social capital in schools affected their perceptions of innovativeness climate and that professional learning communities had an intermediary role in this relationship. These findings showed that the richness in social relationship networks provided a basis for the development of innovative teaching practices in schools and the professional learning environments created in schools contributed to this process.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, the intermediary role of professional learning communities on the effect of social capital on innovativeness climate was analysed via teachers’ views. In the literature no study studying the relationship between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities was found.

Practical implications

It can be put forward that there is a need for studies that analyse the effect of the roots of social capital on innovativeness culture to identify other variables that may potentially be relevant. In addition, this study may be a contribution to the literature by providing a study on the concepts of social capital and innovativeness climate, which were studied in the fields of social sciences extensively, in educational settings and this supports the field through theoretical and empirical studies.

Originality/value

This study demonstrated the effects of the concept of social capital on innovativeness climate which provides a basis for innovativeness in educational institutions. This topic is currently on the agenda of the OECD and World Bank. Moreover, this study aims to show the intermediary role of professional learning communities in the relationship between social capital and innovativeness climate.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2019

Tamar Tas, Thoni Houtveen and Wim Van de Grift

The purpose of this paper is to answer the question, what progress student teachers make during one academic year, while being trained in a professional learning community

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer the question, what progress student teachers make during one academic year, while being trained in a professional learning community, using objective classroom observation, using lesson preparation templates that match their developmental stage and stage-focused mentor feedback.

Design/methodology/approach

The teaching skills of the student teachers (n=101) were measured at the start and at the end of the academic year. For the measurements, the standardized and psychometrically tested International Comparative Analysis of Learning and Teaching observation instrument is used.

Findings

The student teachers achieved a small growth on the basic teaching skills and a medium growth on two of the three advanced skills for teachers.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the lack of a control group, causal conclusions cannot be made. This research provides knowledge on the actual observed level of teaching skills of student teachers trained in a close collaborating professional learning community.

Originality/value

Little is known about the actual growth of observable teaching skills of student teachers in elementary education. Teacher training colleges and internship schools in the Netherlands are in search of better ways to collaborate more closely in order to improve the quality of teaching of their student teachers. These findings can inspire teacher training communities to improve their own teaching quality and the teaching quality of their student teachers.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 December 2020

Emily Lewanowski-Breen, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain and Maria Meehan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the long-term impact of participating in school-based lesson study on mathematics teachers' professional community.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the long-term impact of participating in school-based lesson study on mathematics teachers' professional community.

Design/methodology/approach

A study was conducted with six mathematics teachers, from two post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland, following up on their participation in school-based lesson study over the academic year 2012/13 (see Ni Shuilleabhain, 2016). Qualitative data were generated through one-to-one, semi-structured interviews with the participating teachers and analysed using an empirical framework for teacher community formation (Grossman et al., 2001).

Findings

Analysis of the interview responses suggests that the mathematics teachers in both schools, Doone and Crannog, had developed a mature professional community during their participation in lesson study in 2012/13. Furthermore, the research finds that, in the absence of any other professional development intervention, both teacher communities have been sustained at this level six years later. These findings suggest that a lesson study may serve as a potential structure to foster the development of sustainable professional communities within subject-based teacher groups.

Originality/value

While a lesson study has been shown to support the development of teacher professional communities, previous research has not addressed the sustainability of the communities which emerge. This study, therefore, adds to the existing literature by investigating teachers' perceptions of the long-term impact of lesson study participation on their professional community.

Details

International Journal for Lesson & Learning Studies, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2020

Jarrent Tayag and Nunilon Ayuyao

This study aims to investigate the relationship between leadership and teacher professional learning considering two mediating variables – teacher trust and teacher agency.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between leadership and teacher professional learning considering two mediating variables – teacher trust and teacher agency.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilized structural equation modeling in analyzing the responses from 1,654 secondary public teachers from 43 schools in the Philippines.

Findings

Leadership does not have a direct relationship with teacher professional learning. The established relationship of leadership and professional learning from literature exists through the mediation of teacher trust and teacher agency.

Originality/value

The results point out that school leaders must affect teacher trust and teacher agency to influence the engagement of teachers to professional learning. Contrary to what has been accepted in educational management that leaders can directly impact teachers, the findings of this study dictate that the full effects of leadership are coursed through mediating pathways.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Joseph Murphy

The goal of this narrative synthesis is twofold. The purpose of this paper is to understand the barriers and constraints that hinder or prevent the growth of professional

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this narrative synthesis is twofold. The purpose of this paper is to understand the barriers and constraints that hinder or prevent the growth of professional community. The author also want to form an empirical understanding of how educators can be successful in meeting these challenges. In both cases, the author wish to grow this knowledge in the complexity of schooling and the rapids of continuous school improvement. The conceptual architecture for the review is a mixture of research on change and implementation, school improvement, and community.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper can best be described as an integrative review or a narrative synthesis – an interpretation of the literature (Vescio et al., 2008), a method that is especially useful when combing qualitative and quantitative research findings. The author follow guidance from Hallinger in explaining the construction of the paper. The goal is to explore the broadest landscape possible to distill knowledge and understanding on the one hand and provide usable material on the other. In the words of Battistich, the aim is “to develop integrative explanatory concepts that provide people with a useful framework for considering action under particular circumstances.”

Findings

The paper concludes that there are dynamic cultural and well-entrenched structural barriers that make the realization of professional community problematic. Some of these elements are visible. Many others are deeply buried in the meta-narrative of school improvement. The author also finds that absent direct attention to these conditions, efforts to nurture professional community in schools will be seriously handicapped.

Research limitations/implications

Narrative syntheses offer the hope of deep understanding of domains of school improvement. They permit the inclusion of findings garnered from an array of methodologies. At the same time, this mode of investigation lacks the precision associated with more structured methods of knowledge accumulation. Even when done well, it places considerable responsibility on investigators in making sense of findings.

Originality/value

By examining research from a wide area of domains, the author is able to construct a comprehensive map of the world of bringing professional community to life in schools for researches, policy actors, developers, and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2018

Warangkana Lin and Moosung Lee

The purpose of this paper is to explore a concept that has been less examined in empirical research on school organization, namely Network Learning Capacity (NLC). It is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore a concept that has been less examined in empirical research on school organization, namely Network Learning Capacity (NLC). It is proposed that teachersprofessional networks enhance teachers’ individual NLC. This process leads to a formation of professional community (PC) and therefore affects the level of organizational learning (OL).

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative study with multiple methods comprising social network analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling was conducted. Data were collected from a school implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in Taiwan.

Findings

Findings suggest that certain network positions were crucial in forming NLC on instruction. In addition, reflective dialogue, shaped by NLC, is the key component in establishing learning in this case school.

Originality/value

As the first of its kind in an educational context, the study highlights the linkages between network position and the development of professional learning community, which is mediated through NLC. This study contributes to illuminating the process of how PC practices and OL can be promoted in schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 56 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2021

Loes de Jong, Tom Wilderjans, Jacobiene Meirink, Wouter Schenke, Henk Sligte and Wilfried Admiraal

In professional learning communities (PLCs), teachers collaborate and learn with the aim of improving students' learning. The aim of this study is to gain insight into…

Abstract

Purpose

In professional learning communities (PLCs), teachers collaborate and learn with the aim of improving students' learning. The aim of this study is to gain insight into teachers' perceptions of their schools' changing toward PLCs and conditions which support or hamper this change.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were completed by a total of 2.111 teachers from 15 Dutch secondary schools for three years. With the use of multilevel regression analyses, the research questions were answered.

Findings

Although the development of a school toward a PLC seems to be a slow process, the findings demonstrate the influence of school conditions on this development. Human resource management (HRM) stands out, as this school condition has a direct and longitudinal effect on the change.

Practical implications

The main recommendation is to embed PLC elements in HRM policies such as facilitating teachers to collaboratively work and learn and aligning teachers' professional development with schools' vision and ambitions.

Originality/value

PLCs have been studied occasionally in longitudinal in-depth case studies or in large-scale, cross-sectional research. This large-scale longitudinal study provides insights into the sustainability of schools as PLCs and the school conditions that are associated with sustainability.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Alma Harris and Michelle Suzette Jones

The purpose of this paper is to outline a Development and Research (D and R) approach to systematic and focused professional collaborative inquiry developed as part of an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline a Development and Research (D and R) approach to systematic and focused professional collaborative inquiry developed as part of an externally funded project, Disciplined Collaboration and Evaluation of Professional Learning (DCEPL), and highlight a model of professional collaboration that was aimed at generating meaningful teacher engagement within, between, and across schools. The “Disciplined Collaboration” (DC) approach was designed to prepare and equip teachers to work with a model of collaborative inquiry that was highly structured and had built-in assessment measures to help teachers judge the impact and progress of their collaborative work. The literature on professional learning highlights that superficial models of collaboration, unstructured approaches to collective learning, and a lack of adequate evaluation measures are some of the reasons why teachersprofessional collaboration may not have the impact anticipated or expected.

Design/methodology/approach

The DCEPL program was a D and R project that aimed to support teachers in generating their own local approaches to school-based innovation and change. As a D and R project, a framework for collaboration that became known as “DC” model was developed and shared. The project involved eight schools in different states and territories in Australia. In the first two years, the schools engaged intensely with the “DC” model, in ways that aimed to promote innovation and change. Subsequently, in a phase of consolidation, schools have refined and extended their collective work. From the outset, a range of data sources were available to schools to assist them with gauging the progress and impact of their collaborative inquiry. Data sets included a baseline assessment, a maturity model that charted progress against a rubric, documentary analysis, and an online portal. A sequenced data collection and evaluative approach, every six months, routinely captured the process and the progress of the inquiry work in each of the schools. It also illuminated progress across the D and R project.

Findings

The feedback from the project and data analyses suggest that all eight schools in the project engaged with the “DC” model; and in most cases, used a whole school approach to improvement. More generally, the findings point to several conclusions about working within a DC framework: first, that authentic collaborative inquiry, i.e., which makes a positive difference to learners, benefits from a clear operational model and consistent rules of engagement for teachers. Second, that the DC model, offered teachers clear guidelines about the process of active collaboration and its evaluative requirements from the outset. Third, while inevitably, the process of DC varied across schools, the focus upon improving learning and learning outcomes was central.

Originality/value

The DC model presents a new framework or a new approach in supporting teachers’ collaborative inquiry. The DC model emphasizes improvements in student learning as the main outcome of teachers’ collaborative work. In addition, it has feedback and impact measurement within its design thus, allowing teachers to naturally evaluate progress and outcomes.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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