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Implementation of a collaborative culture in one Midwestern urban school

Danielle Kristine Ladwig, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Today, a wide range of researchers and authors are beginning to focus their attention on school change, decreased teacher isolation and increased collaboration among educators with a focus on improving student learning. A term, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), has come to represent this focus and embodies promise for educational change. ^ The purpose of this study was to examine one Midwest urban school's approach to implementing the concepts and philosophies of a Professional Learning Community. The purpose in doing so was to study the school's process of implementation and how it reflected three themes which emerged from the literature review: Leadership, Collaboration and Focus on Student Learning. ^ The guiding research question was: How is a Professional Learning Community initially implemented within a school? The method of research was a qualitative case study approach with data collection including: interviews with two administrators and three classroom teachers who were involved in the implementation process, observations of collaborative teaching teams and documents which supported the implementation process. ^ The results of the study demonstrated a need for increased professional development in order for teachers to have a better understanding of the function and purpose of a PLC and to address issues that arise from increased collaboration like item analysis and interventions that support student success. A need for more time for the business of collaboration (e.g., meetings, preparation) also surfaced as a result of the study. The shift from teacher isolation to collaboration requires a great deal of time and although there was a common plan time allocated, all teachers noted the need for more time in order to complete the tasks necessary for a well functioning PLC.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Ladwig, Danielle Kristine, "Implementation of a collaborative culture in one Midwestern urban school" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3266776.