Term of Award

Winter 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Juliann Sergi McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 2

Kitty Crawford



As schools face increasing accountability, many have turned to professional learning communities (PLCs) as a possible solution. The challenge is that many schools are not implementing PLCs with fidelity. It is imperative that school leaders assess PLC practices to ensure that critical components are being implemented effectively. This research provides a framework for school leaders to assess school leader, teacher, and support staff perceptions of various PLC dimensions. Descriptive statistics were used to determine levels of agreement with statements related to six PLC dimensions. A one-way univariate analysis of variance tests (ANOVA) was used to analyze differences in mean responses by participants to determine if and how perceptions of PLC practices varied. Additionally, open-ended responses were analyzed to determine themes and patterns regarding the influence of PLCs on teacher retention and collective teacher efficacy. The results indicated that while PLCs were being implemented with fidelity, there were differences in perceptions based on participants’ role and grade cluster. Additionally, findings indicated that teacher retention and collective teacher efficacy are both strongly influenced by effective PLC implementation. Future research is needed to determine if the findings hold true among suburban and urban schools across other parts of the United States and why perceptions vary among participants.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Will_Thigpen_Final_DissertationETD_Revised_20231130.docx (516 kB)
Revised Based on ETD feedback