Two Approaches to Learning Communities in a Large Suburban District
Golden, Chad Matthew
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The guiding purpose of this study was to examine two types of learning communities, Pearson Learning Teams (PLTs) and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), in a large suburban school district to describe and compare the professional practices and professional relationships of teachers and administrators in six elementary schools. The study looked at teacher learning communities as perceived by educators in three PLT schools and three PLC schools following program implementation. The factors affiliated with professional practice were holding a common vision, carrying out tasks, focusing on results, and engaging in inquiry. The factors aligned with professional relationships were a feeling of belonging and managing conflict. Findings indicated educators in all schools reported high levels of agreement that their learning communities reflected desired qualities for teacher collaboration. No difference in common mission, tasks, and action between PLT and PLC schools were noted. Conflict and goals were more evident in PLT schools. Educators in schools that followed PLC guidelines were more likely to agree that a sense of belonging was part of their team work.