The Influence of Operating a Professional Learning Community on Principals’ Leadership Styles and Teachers’ Level of Efficacy in Two North Indian Schools: Lessons for Indian Schools Generally?
Citation:VELLANAL AUGUSTHY, JOSEPH, The Influence of Operating a Professional Learning Community on Principals’ Leadership Styles and Teachers’ Level of Efficacy in Two North Indian Schools: Lessons for Indian Schools Generally?, Trinity College Dublin.School of Education, 2019
Thesis Final (m) Joseph Vellanal.pdf (PDF) 4.210Mb
A belief that the quality of learning and teaching can be enhanced by teachers working and learning together has led to increased interest in the potential of professional learning communities [PLCs] for school improvement and reform. With a core emphasis on the undeviating focus on students? learning, PLCs are said to be conducive to what is best for students? learning and teachers? wellbeing. This concept, developed by Shirley Hord, Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker who were pioneers of PLCs and supported by McLaughlin and Talbert amongst others, revolves around the claim that if opportunities are given for collaborative inquiry, veteran teachers will share the wisdom they have gained through experience in a way that makes for improved teaching practices generally. This study was an attempt to introduce PLCs into two northern Indian schools; to observe how useful the operation of a PLC was in each case and to establish what practical lessons could be learned from this experience when the concept was adapted to Indian culture. Simultaneously, it also looked at the effect of implementing PLCs on principals? leadership styles and levels of teacher-efficacy. The research involved a combination of qualitative and quantitative tools, used sequentially but with priority given to the qualitative phase. Specifically, this involved the use of semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, and observation. The Professional Learning Community Assessment - Revised [PLCA-R] instrument was used to measure the professional learning communities? practices at the schools in question. The Leadership Practice Inventory [LPI] was used to assess the leadership styles of the principals. The Teacher Efficacy Scale [TES] provided construct validation support for this variable, and allowed me to examine the relationship between teachers? levels of self-efficacy and their observable behaviours. The work had two phases. Phase one involved the introduction of PLCs into two schools and in this phase pre-research data were collected (using the PLCA-R, the LPI and the TES). The second phase of the research involved post-research tests when PLCs had been functioning in each school for one academic year. Tracking the efforts of principals and teachers in these two Indian schools in implementing PLCs suggested that the transformation to a PLC can be a slow and challenging process. The study of the relationship between a principal?s leadership role and a PLC in this research reinforces the existing literature in suggesting that, while successful implementation and effective operation of PLCs in any school greatly depends on the leadership of the principal, at the same time, the principal benefits reciprocally as it positively influences his/her leadership quality. Even though this study could not establish a correlation between operating PLCs and teachers? sense of efficacy in a quantitative way, qualitative results suggested that the sources that enhance the development of high teacher efficacy, namely: (1) mastery experiences, (2) vicarious experience, and (3) social persuasion, were very much present in the day-to-day operation of the PLCs. These results give grounds for cautious optimism and indicate PLCs could have a significant influence on pedagogical decisions made in Indian classrooms.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
Author: VELLANAL AUGUSTHY, JOSEPH
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Education. Discipline of Education
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available