Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

James D. Kirylo

Abstract

This study examined the impact of a professional learning community on teacher self-efficacy at Elm Primary School in rural South Carolina. The literature suggests that PLCs are an amenable approach to improving individual teacher efficacy beliefs and classroom practices (Corcoran, 2007; Guskey, 2003). For this study, self-and collective efficacy were measured using Likert-scale surveys, semi-open ended interviews, participant journals, observation and field notes, and artifacts. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected, making this a mixed-methods study.

The results confirmed and expanded understandings about PLCs' impact on efficacy. Participants recognized goal setting, actions, and results as important qualities of collaboration during PLCs. Their reflections and interviews revealed the formation of dynamic relationships, impact beyond the community members, and recognition of reflection. The findings acknowledge the complexity of professional learning and the belief that PLCs are one approach that affects efficacy.

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