Date Approved

5-9-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Meredith, Corine

Subject(s)

Professional learning communities;Teachers--Training of

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

Pre-service teaching experiences can influence future teaching practices. The participation of pre-service teachers (PSTs) in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) increases the likelihood of a mental model shift away from the traditional norms of autonomy that characterize teaching. The purpose of this multiple case study analysis was to explore the perceived influence of PLC exposure on PSTs enrolled in a Professional Development School (PDS) teacher preparation program; specifically in the areas of knowledge, interactions, shared practice, and strategies. The design of the study was qualitative; each PST enrolled in the PDS teacher preparation program was viewed as an individual case. The data were gathered via semi-structured interviews, observations of PDS pre-service teacher PLC meetings, and collection of PST journals. The PSTs acknowledge the positive influence of PLC participation on their knowledge base, interactions with one another, as well as with others in the school community, on their perceptions of shared practice, and on their instructional, organizational, and assessment strategies. PST PLC participation resulted in increased self-confidence, the realization that peers can be resources, and the understanding that teaching does not have to be an isolating profession.

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