Professional learning communities : teacher perception of components of professional learning communities in high schools
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The mandate for school reform is becoming more urgent as schools increasingly focus on improving student learning. This mandate for reform has produced a need for effective school improvement structures to organize staff efforts to improve student learning. The professional learning communities (PLC) structure has been widely touted among practitioners as a valid model for instituting school reform. The popularity of this structure has grown to such an extent that its impact has been diluted through lack of understanding, partial implementation, and lack of focus on student learning outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among different components of the PLC framework when it is implemented at the high school level. In addition, this study examined how teacher demographic characteristics, such as gender and longevity in the profession, impact teachers' perceptions of PLCs. These relationships were measured using means difference testing and correlation analyses. The significance of the study lies in its usefulness to those attempting to implement the PLC structure as a school improvement measure. This study identifies relationships among the components of PLCs and how teachers perceive the structure, thus providing direction so practitioners will be able to more effectively target their resources for implementation.