Date of Award

7-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Gibson, Kathi

Abstract

Many researchers focused their attention on increasing student achievement by increasing collaboration within the culture of the school by increasing collaboration among educators. Huffman and Hipp (2003) noted that most school reforms fail because the focus on a supportive school culture towards teacher leadership and collaboration is minimal. Therefore, working collaboratively within the confines of the school environment is indicative of the foundation required to promote student achievement. A professional learning community (PLC), as defined by DuFour and Eaker (2007), is a learning environment that supports collaboration, continuous improvement, and data-driven decision making. The purpose of this qualitative research was to answer whether principal participation in PLCs fostered teacher collaboration and teacher leadership. The data revealed that principal participation in PLCs did foster teacher collaboration and teacher leadership, and the interviewees were asked to identify the behaviors that fostered teacher collaboration and teacher leadership. Two one-on-one interview sessions were conducted and served as the research method for querying purposefully selected K-12 teachers. Only teachers whose principal participated in the full implementation of the U.S. Department of Education grant written by the South Carolina University were eligible for participation in this research. This study utilized the conceptual framework of DuFour and Eaker’s (1998) PLC model.

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