Professional learning community and non-Professional Learning Community schools : a quantitative study of perceptions of teachers on trust, professionalism, and change
Zbrozek, Adam W.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and Non-PLC schools regarding Trust, Professionalism, and Change. The study included teaching staff of 10 Illinois elementary schools: five PLC schools and five non-PLC schools identified as demonstrating increasing levels of student achievement as measured by the annual state assessment (ISAT). Sampling was stratified in order to limit the population based on specific sets of characteristics. The study was limited to schools with demonstrated growth and success. Additionally, schools implementing PLCs that have been identified by Solution Tree were included in this study and labeled as PLC schools. Non-PLC schools were selected based on similarity to PLC schools (after PLC implementation) in student achievement levels, expenditures, enrollment, minority populations, and socioeconomic status.;Descriptive statistics, bi-variate analysis, correlation analyses, ANOVA, and regression analysis were used to address the five research questions for this study. Bi-variate analysis through the utilization of a t-test showed no significant differences between the means of PLC and Non-PLC groups existed in the variables of Trust, Professionalism, and Change. Correlational findings included a moderate significant positive relationship for all participants (Whole Group) in the study for the variables of trust and change. The PLC participant group also showed higher moderate significant positive correlation between the variables of trust and change. An ANOVA test was utilized to measure the differences in change, trust and professionalism based on years of experience among groups within the PLC and Non-PLC Schools, showing a significant difference between groups was found in the variable of trust. Regression data showed that the trust components contributing to an increase in change were perceptions of teacher to teacher trust, parental support, parental reports, and student secrecy. The regression data findings further showed the component of professionalism was likely to contribute to an increase in change was reading for courses during the summer months. Finally, the regression data showed the components of trust and professionalism most likely to contribute to increases in change when analyzed together included welcoming feedback on teaching, summer reading, withdrawing from departmental discussion of curriculum and/or assessment, trust in parents, and parental support.