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Using a Professional Learning Community to Design Professional Development

Kreider, John (2018) Using a Professional Learning Community to Design Professional Development. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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There has been an increase in accessibility to computers in K-12 education across the United Sates (Molnar, 2015). In addition, technology has become more sophisticated and is having a substantial impact on the manner in which instruction is delivered to students in the classroom
and the manner in which students are assessed (Zhang, Zhao, Zhou, & Nunamaker, 2004). Subsequently school districts are responding by providing teachers with professional development activities that build their capacity to effectively use technology in the classroom.
Quality professional development activities must collaboratively engage teachers in sustained and reflective exercises that are connected with each other and deeply established in inquiry (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995). To create this environment, school leaders must engage their staff in job embedded activities that develop strategies relevant to the profession.

Traditional forms of professional development, however, are often criticized for presenting isolated topics to large groups of teachers with little to no follow through or continued support (Kohler, Crilley, Shearer, & Good, 1997). In addition, these forms of professional development rarely solicit the input from teachers and occur infrequently throughout the school year. Due to the lack of coherence, many professional development sessions fail to impact the manner in which curricula are delivered to students in the classroom (Showers & Joyce, 1996) and generally have no impact on improving the quality of instruction (Harris & Sass, 2011).

This study provides professional development through the incorporation of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) with a small purposeful sample of high school teachers
who have been identified as high-level technology users. PLCs have emerged as a reliable means of building the capacity of teachers and can have a positive impact on student achievement in the classroom (Louis, Marks, & Kruse, 1994). This study builds upon the current research related to PLCs and examines how a PLC can be used for learning and planning. Specifically, due to the
proliferation of technology, the PLC reflected upon their current practice and designed professional development activities for their colleagues.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kreider, Johnjwk42@pitt.edujwk420000-0001-9054-6127
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTananis, Cynthia
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlene
Committee MemberLongo, Gerard
Committee MemberPerry, Jill
Date: 30 January 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 December 2017
Approval Date: 30 January 2018
Submission Date: 9 January 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 126
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Learning Community Professional Development Group Learning Reflection Collaboration
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2018 17:31
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2018 17:31


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