Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Doug Eury

Second Advisor

David Shellman

Abstract

The dissertation was designed to describe the relationship of collective teacher efficacy to the phases of professional learning communities (PLC) in a rural school district in the southern piedmont region of North Carolina. Limited research exists in the area of collective teacher efficacy and its relationship to professional learning communities, especially related to the phases of development conceptualized by Huffman and Hipp (2003) in their Professional Learning Community Organizer (PLCO).

The researcher gathered baseline data regarding the teachers' perceptions of their schools functioning as professional learning communities from the North Carolina Teacher's Working Conditions Survey given in the spring of 2010. The Professional Learning Community Assessment (PLCA) and Collective Teacher Efficacy Instrument (CTE) were administered in the fall to 26 schools within the district. Using this information, the researcher conducted statistical analyses to determine the relationships between professional learning communities and collective teacher efficacy and the relationships between the specific phases of development (initiation, implementation, and institutionalization) of a PLC and collective teacher efficacy.

Educators are seeking to improve student learning by means of internal reform, namely a professional learning community. According to the results of this study, the five dimensions of the PLC have been shown to have some positive, significant relationships with CTE especially at the elementary level. The educators within this district should seek to continue developing their PLCs at every level to build collective teacher efficacy and to sustain a culture conducive to continued reform.