An Investigation of the Relationship between Professional Learning Community Practices and Student Achievement in an Eastern Canadian School Board

Noel Peter Hurley, Tim Seifert, D Bruce Sheppard

Abstract


Abstract

The participants in this study were teachers and students of a large school district located on the east coast of Canada. We distributed surveys to 1514 teachers across 84 schools with1423 usable surveys having been completed for a return rate of 94%. At the time of the second data collection, three years later, 78 schools with a total of 1574 teachers agreed to participate. Teachers’ perceptions of their schools as professional learning communities were assessed using 32 items in a 5-point Likert format. The responses to the 2006 survey were factor analyzed using ML estimation. A number of different factor structures were tested, including a single factor model and a second-order factor analysis. In spite of a heavy emphasis by school board leaders and the collaborative development, introduction, and implementation of PLC practices before and during the study period, no significant measurable effect on student learning was identified. While this particular study reports only the relationship between PLC practice usage and reading achievement, Hurley, Sheppard, and Seifert are also investigating two other areas of efficacy in this line of study; one that investigates the relationship with high school Mathematics achievement and one that examines school size and student achievement as mediated by PLC practice

Keywords


professional learning community, teacher efficacy, student achievement

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References


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