Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Marvin Putnam

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify general and special education teachers' understanding of professional learning communities (PLCs) at 2 public suburban elementary schools in the western United States. Both schools were in the second year of implementation of PLCs but seemed to be using PLC time to plan lessons. This quantitative descriptive survey sought to to identify the teachers' overall understanding of the 6 dimensions of the Professional Learning Communities Assessment â?? Revised (PLCA-R) and to determine if there was a difference between general and special education teachers' perceptions of PLCs. This survey was administered to general and special education teachers who had at least 3 years of teaching experience and at least 1 year of participation in a PLC. A total of 23 general education teachers and 10 special education teachers participated. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data from the 6 dimensions and the PLCA-R. The results indicated that both groups understood the PLC process and had favorable perceptions of PLCs. The results of the ANOVA for each of the 7 hypotheses showed that there was no significant difference between general and special education teachers' perceptions of PLCs. The dissemination of results will help administrators focus on the 6 dimensions of a PLC to provide teachers with an in-depth understanding of PLCs, which can help students to achieve their potential.

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