Award Date

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

James Crawford

Second Committee Member

Patrick Carlton

Third Committee Member

Gene Hall

Fourth Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Fifth Committee Member

Tom Piechota

Number of Pages

94

Abstract

This qualitative study was implemented in an urban, Title I school district in the southern portion of the United States. The problem the study addressed was that the various phenomena pertaining to the implementation of the principal professional learning community (PPLC), as perceived by the 14 participating elementary school principals, had not been examined to determine their influence. Qualitative data were acquired from the principals through personal interviews.

Findings suggested that, with the regular opportunities for principals to share ideas and thoughts with their colleagues, PPLC participants perceived improved performance involving (a) the attributes of high skillfulness and high participation within the leadership capacity matrix described by Lambert (1998, 2003); (b) leadership capacity in daily practices, as reflected in adult learning theory (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 1998); (c) the collaborative nature of school leadership, empowerment, and the centrality of student learning, 3 of the 4 guiding principles of effective leadership identified by the Council of Chief State School Officers (1996); (d) continuous school improvement, as noted in the ISLLC Standard 1 (Council of Chief State School Officers, 1996); (e) the ability to make positive changes in their school communities; and (f) the 7 leadership skills identified by Reeves (2006). Responses further indicated that the initial PPLC was reflective of instructional leadership, collaboration, student achievement, and campus management, 4 attributes comprising the school based PLC model. The primary emphasis of participants' responses embraced the collaboration and overall learning that occurred. This finding was profound, given the belief that the principalship is a position, in many ways, of isolation.

Based on findings, the researcher recommends the ongoing development and implementation of the PPLC. The researcher additionally recommends this study be replicated at the end of a 3-year period, and that findings be compared to those derived from the current study to determine whether participants' perceptions of related phenomena have changed. Once results are derived from the recommended study, a determination can be made whether to continue the PPLC.

Keywords

Communities; Educational leadership; Elementary school principals; Learning; Principal; Professional; School principals – In-service training; Urban schools

Disciplines

Educational Leadership

Language

English


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