Developing and nurturing professional learning communities: principles used by elementary administrators /
Marshall, Mary J.
MetadataShow full item record
This study examined the strategies used by elementary school principals to facilitate and nurture the development of professional learning communities (PLC) within their school settings. Using a reputational sample of administrators whose schools were demonstrating observable characteristics of PLCs, this study documented and described the strategies and actions taken by the principals to move their schools forward. Data collection included the use of open-ended interviews as well as observations capturing the means by which the principals addressed the areas of culture, processes, and structures within their school setting. A grounded theory approach to data analysis uncovered 4 guiding principles used by the principals to facilitate the development of the PLCs within their school: (a) protecting the purpose; (b) attending to relationships; (c) sharing the responsibility; and (d) valuing the journey. The guiding principles were used by each administrator to anchor the decisions they made and develop responsive, contextspecific strategies to support the PLC at their school. The results highlighted the complex role of the principal and the supports required to tackle the difficult work of facilitating PLCs.