Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary Ann Wangemann


Charter schools are often characterized as professional learning communities (PLCs). However, researchers have noted the importance of self-reflection of school staff related to their role as a PLC because perceptions can influence the effectiveness of achieving the full implementation of a PLC. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the perceptions of teachers and administrators at a large New York school district's 2 charter schools concerning their school site as a learning community. This study was grounded in social constructivist leadership theory in order to analyze a professional learning community as the social unit. Research questions examined differences in responses of all participants (N = 148) between the 5 scales of the School Professional Staff as Learning Community (SPSaLC) questionnaire as well as differences in responses between administrators (n = 30) and teachers (n = 100). A repeated-measures ANOVA indicated significant differences in SPSaLC scale scores (p <.001) with shared vision, addressed needs, and support learning scores significantly higher than democratic and feedback scores. To examine differences in perceptions between teachers and administrators, a MANOVA revealed significant differences (p <.001) indicating that administrators scored shared vision and addresses needs higher than did teachers. The study results may lead to positive social change by providing the local district with initial research findings on the perceptions of school staff related to the 5 major dimensions of a PLC. The district might use these findings to plan for professional development for teachers and administrators to strengthen the implementation of the learning community model at the local site.

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