Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

David Backer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

DDavid Bolton, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Niki Harvey, Ed.D.


The Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), signed into law by President Obama, reauthorized the elementary and secondary education act for K-12 students across the nation. A main component of ESSA resides with the professional development of teachers and administrators. The definition of teacher professional development by Learning Forward (2017) involves a sustained professional learning community (PLC) which is collaborative, intensive, job-embedded, and data driven. The idea of PLCs as a means of teacher professional development is the current popular trend amongst K-12 education (DuFour, 2004). PLCs are creating opportunities for teachers to collaborate regarding many aspects of the education profession. In this report, I provide a critical analysis of PLCs (DuFour, 2004) and teachers’ perceptions of PLCs. Implementation and impacts of PLCs are analyzed from teacher survey responses and semi-structured interview responses. An overview of results will articulate findings within the six dimensions of PLCs, identified in PLCA-R survey and through semi-structured interviews. Findings from the PLCA-R survey, survey comments and semi structured interviews reveal dimensions that had a low mean score, Shared Personal Practice vs areas of strength within Supportive Conditions – Relationships dimension.

Keywords: Professional Learning Communities, Andragogy, Transformative Leadership, Constructivism, Distributive Leadership, Teacher Capacity