Teachers Create a Professional Learning Community to be a Place of their Own

Della R. Leavitt, Marjory F. Palius, Robert D. Babst, Ryan Donegan, Jarrett L. Lampkin, Michael Smith, Patricia A. Whitford

Abstract


In Spring, 2012, seven New Jersey middle school mathematics teachers volunteered to lead an afterschool Professional Learning Community. The teachers set the meeting format, selected topics, and rotated facilitation of six 90-minute sessions.  A university researcher, working within a National Science Foundation-sponsored Mathematics/Science Partnership, designed the project to investigate how, if at all, these activities would enhance teachers’ leadership.  The researcher videotaped the teachers’ meetings, elicited written reflections, conducted interviews, and analyzed these data.  Emergent themes included cohesiveness,commitment,focus on practice, respectful participation in controversies, changes in confidence and leadership. All seven teachers planned to continue meeting during the 2012-2013 school year.

Keywords


teacher leadership, professional learning communities, practitioner inquiry, teacher change, teacher empowerment

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