Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Onetha Gilliard

Committee Member

Maria Mendez

Committee Member

Faith Bird


communities of practice, inservice education, professional development, teacher improvement


This applied dissertation was designed to verify the effectiveness of professional learning communities (PLC), as it relates to the participation of administrators and teachers. Prior studies have emphasized the importance of continuing learning experiences for school administrators while working. Chiptin (2013) pointed out the importance of a learning network for principals, in which principals would support each other and share knowledge as well as having a forum to discuss common problems. The writer used a quantitative questionnaire copyrighted by Southwest Educational Development Laboratory as the instrument for the research. The main purpose of analyzing the data quantitatively was to measure the effectiveness of the PLC and the participation levels of the administrators and teachers in the PLCs in the target public school district. The results suggested that administrators and teachers perceived PLCs as a collaborative process in which their opinions and suggestions are shared in a democratic fashion. However, when it comes to the final decision, administrators have the last say. Moreover, administrators listen to teachers’ opinions and suggestions on how to solve problems and how to make the best decisions when it comes to student-centered learning. Furthermore, administrators take into consideration the opinions and suggestions of faculty and staff members when making the final decision. Recommendations include conducting a mixed-method study using both qualitative and quantitative data to provide a better understanding of cultural background between schools’ geographic location and culture as well as the individual staff members’ culture, as contrasted with the PLC dynamics. In addition, this study was conducted to provide better insight into specific student-centered activities and teacher practices.

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