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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Larry D. Gray II
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: A Comparison of High School Teachers’ Perceptions in a Large Metropolitan Midwestern County across Six Different Dimensions Associated with Professional Learning Communities
Dr. Walter Burt, Chair
Dr. Charles Warfield
Dr. Charles Wilson
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
This study examined differences in perception of teachers in high schools that had implemented PLCs and high schools that had not implemented PLCs. The purpose of the study was to determine whether there were statistically significant differences in the perception of teachers in the two separate groups in terms of how they incorporated instructional strategies that were associated with PLCs. The sample from which teachers were selected included high school teachers from a large Midwestern county.
The Professional Learning Community Assessment-Revised (PLCA-R; Olivier, Hipp, & Huffman, 2009) survey instrument was used to measure the perceptions of teachers across six different domains of a PLC. This study attempted to determine: (1) whether there were statistically significant differences in the perceptions of teachers in schools with and without professional learning communities across the six dimensions associated with professional learning communities; and (2) whether gender, ethnicity, number of years teaching, and curricular content influenced the perception of teachers on the six domains associated with a professional learning community. Utilizing an ex post facto design, the researcher administered two separate instruments, the PLCA-R and a demographic survey to test the five research questions. Of the 1,143 instruments uploaded to a secured website, 221 teachers (or 19.3%) completed the survey instruments. A one-way MANOVA was used to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in the perception of teachers in the two types of schools. The 0.05 level of confidence was used for determining statistical significance. Findings in this study indicate that teachers in schools without PLCs had more positive perceptions regarding PLCs than their corresponding counterparts, and further research is needed to include a larger, more diverse sample, and teacher training institutions should include PLCs as part of their curriculum, and the role of professional organizations in encouraging the implementation of PLCs should be examined.