From the Perspective of Teachers:
Utilizing Professional Learning Communities as a Catalyst for Instructional Change
This study explores the effects of participation in professional learning communities on the instructional programs of teachers. Using, as a guide, the works of Hattie, Marzano, and DuFour in addition to other smaller studies, it explores to what extent participating in PLCs has changed the instructional programs of teachers. This study was conducted at an American high school and looked at the PLCs of five subject areas at that school: English, Math, Social Science, Foreign Language, and Science. Each teacher participated in a Likert-scale survey to ask about the implementation and ongoing training of PLCs, PLC focus, instructional changes by teachers, and student achievement. In addition to this, qualitative interviews were conducted post-survey to help triangulate the results of the survey. The results of the study found the instructional change of teachers at the school to be limited. While the quantitative results indicated that a small set of teachers believed they had made significant changes, the qualitative results presented would suggest that the majority of instructional changes were limited and presented a number of barriers that suggest areas for further investigation.