Combining research and school improvement through the professional learning community model.

Year: 2012

Author: Fried, Leanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Conducting research in school settings can be challenging as the demands of research, teaching and learning often appear to be in conflict with one another. Problems in conducting research in educational settings include the power differential that can occur between the teacher and researcher and associated unrealistic expectations. Also, there can be situations wherein teachers do not see that the demands of the research are off-set by the benefits they receive and the commitment required to participate in the research can place unnecessary demands on their already constrained time. In this research project, The Professional Learning Community was chosen as a model for conducting research in a government primary school as the model automatically places research, teaching and learning in co-operation with each other, thus potentially avoiding the problems traditionally experienced.  This presentation discusses the development of a Professional Learning Community in a low socio-economic school in Western Australia, outlining the important stages in its early development and the issues and achievements experienced. Experiences to date in this project point towards the value of such a model in the process of school improvement.