The Five Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities in Improving Exemplary Texas Elementary Schools: A Descriptive Study

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This descriptive study investigated the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in 5 economically disadvantaged and diverse Texas elementary schools, which demonstrated improvement in student achievement on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) over a 5-year period. Each of the schools were given the highest performance rating of Exemplary during the 2008 school year according to criteria developed by the Texas accountability system and had changed from an Acceptable rating in 2004. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning ... continued below

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Blacklock, Phillip Jeffrey December 2009.

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  • Blacklock, Phillip Jeffrey

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This descriptive study investigated the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in 5 economically disadvantaged and diverse Texas elementary schools, which demonstrated improvement in student achievement on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) over a 5-year period. Each of the schools were given the highest performance rating of Exemplary during the 2008 school year according to criteria developed by the Texas accountability system and had changed from an Acceptable rating in 2004. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of the development of the 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model in improving exemplary Texas elementary schools and to identify and compare the possible commonalities and differences existing between the schools on the 5 dimensions of professional learning communities. The 5 dimensions of the professional learning community model investigated in this study include: 1) shared and supportive leadership, 2) shared values and vision, 3) collective learning and the application of learning, 4) shared personal practice and 5) supportive conditions (collegial relationships and structures). The method used in this study was a mixed method approach that employed a questionnaire, individual principal and teacher interviews and school performance documents to collect data. The questionnaire data was analyzed through descriptive and analytical statistics while the interviews were investigated by identifying and documenting emergent patterns and themes. The findings from this study suggest that sustainable professional learning communities are evident in the high performing schools selected for this study. The study implies the culture of these schools is supported by relationships fostered by trust and mutual respect and their success is attributed to the collaborative, collegial and collective learning of the staff. Staff members from these schools are focused on student learning while campus leadership, grade level and vertical teams provide the structures for sharing leadership and collective learning. The principals in these schools engage in supportive behaviors that facilitate professional community while districts assist schools as professional learning communities in part through organized data and resource personnel.

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  • December 2009

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  • March 17, 2010, 11:40 a.m.

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  • May 10, 2010, 11:32 a.m.

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Blacklock, Phillip Jeffrey. The Five Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities in Improving Exemplary Texas Elementary Schools: A Descriptive Study, dissertation, December 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12084/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .