School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kenneth R Tierce


Administrator, PLCs, Principal, Professional Learning Communities, Social Learning Theory, Transformational Leadership




The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to examine administrators’ experiences sustaining professional learning communities (PLCs) in three Southeast Louisiana school districts. At this stage of the research, sustained PLCs will be defined as professional learning communities that have been established using The System for Teacher and Student Advancement (TAP) and/or Best Practices Center (BPC) structures and continued for two or more years. The questions guiding this research sought to discover how administrators describe their roles in sustaining PLCs in Louisiana schools, what structures administrators perceive necessary to sustain PLCs, how administrators support an environment conducive to sustaining PLCs, and what challenges, if any, administrators face in sustaining PLCs. The theories that guided this study were Burns’ (1978) transformational leadership theory as it supports leading individuals in collaborative goal attainment and Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory on goal setting and motivation. Administrators in respective schools were emailed surveys to complete to ascertain their perceptions of PLCs. Interviews were conducted either face-to-face or by teleconference for the participants’ convenience. Documents related to PLCs within the administrators’ school environments were requested and analyzed using open coding to identify common themes. A focus group interview was conducted after initial interviews with a small group of administrators. Members of the focus group were asked to create a mind map to present a visual representation of their perceptions of PLCs. All data collected were reviewed and coded for common themes. It is hoped that this study will provide a voice for the experiences of administrators leading schools with sustained PLCs.

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