Date of Award



© 2019 Violet E. Eyanagho

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Third Advisor

Derek McDowell


The professional learning community (PLC) is an essential organizational structure in education, intended to cultivate a collaborative culture, improve professional practices, increase student achievement, reform failing schools, and sustain high achieving schools. Because there is little in the literature which examines teachers’ perceptions of the PLC concept and the work accomplished in the PLC process, the problem studied here was teachers’ perceptions of their work in PLCs at a middle school in Texas. The two research questions addressed the roles of the PLC teams and their individual members in improving student learning. A grounded theory approach was used in the methodology to explore teacher’s perceptions of their work and their experiences. PLC members characterized PLC practices that most directly led to student learning as collaboratively planning scope and sequence, using common formative assessments, peer observation and feedback, mentoring, strategizing to help struggling learners to be successful, and monitoring students’ growth and progress. Findings from the data analysis suggest that if school leaders fail to provide teachers with the opportunity to reflect on how they applied insights gained from their PLC assemblies that influence their instructional practices and affect student learning, the successes of the learning communities will remain uncertain. PLC members are encouraged to engage in continuous study and constant reflective practices that depict an organization committed to continuous improvement. The insights gained from this research can improve the practices and the successes of the PLC concept in secondary schools in the district.


Ed.D. Dissertation