Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Meca Williams-Johnson


Schools are experiencing many reform initiatives, yet creating positive school climates as a way to promote increased student achievement has been omitted from the policy discussion. Whether the professional learning community (PLC) construct can predict school climate is a gap in the current literature. Using change theory and distributed leadership as a framework, the purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationships between the dimensions of a PLC (shared values and vision, intentional learning and application, supportive and shared leadership, supportive conditions and shared personal practice) and school climate variables (academic emphasis, initiating structure, consideration and morale). Four multiple regression models were used to analyze data collected from the Organizational Health Inventory and School Professional Staff as Learning Community (SPSaLC) survey (n = 131). According to the study results, there is a relationship between the dimensions of a PLC and school climate variables. Based on the regression analysis, shared values and vision significantly predicted academic emphasis, intentional learning and application significantly predicted morale, supportive and shared leadership significantly predicted consideration and initiating structure, supportive conditions significantly predicted consideration and morale, and shared personal practice significantly predicted consideration. The result of distributing leadership through the PLC structure can improve school climate. These findings promote positive social change through the analysis of this relationship, a first of its kind. School leaders looking to create PLCs with the intent of improving both student achievement and school climate will directly benefit from this research.