Implementing Professional Learning Communities at the High School Level: Obstacles and Solutions Experienced by One Tennessee High School

Tara R Campbell, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This qualitative case study utilized document review and interviews to identify the struggles faced by one high school in Middle Tennessee as it implemented data-driven Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and how each team of teachers addressed each challenge. The research questions specifically addressed the challenges of creating common pacing guides, common assessments, student data, and interventions for struggling students. It was found that obstacles varied by PLC depending on the subject matter of courses taught and the number of teachers per course. The major findings included: Pacing guides should be fluid documents that are frequently revisited; Common assessments should be analyzed in a timely manner; and, Data should be used to drive instructional decisions. Recommendations for practitioners wishing to form PLCs amongst their own faculties include: The creation of a master schedule that allows for commonly taught courses to be taught simultaneously with common planning time for teachers is critical to the success of PLCs; Teachers must be trained on how to utilize data to measure student mastery; and, Some faculty members might be most useful in non-academic PLCs. Recommendations for future research include a need to add the following to the literature on PLCs: a study of exemplar PLC schools that chronicles their journey to such status, a study of challenges and solutions experienced by both small and large high schools as school size determines which challenges might be experienced by the faculty, and a study that measures the effectiveness of interventions used for struggling and at-risk students.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Education

Recommended Citation

Tara R Campbell, "Implementing Professional Learning Communities at the High School Level: Obstacles and Solutions Experienced by One Tennessee High School" (2016). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10158670.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10158670

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