School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Billie Jean Holubz


Collaboration, Professional Learning Community, Perspectives, Elementary Teachers


Education | Elementary Education


The purpose of this case study was to understand elementary teachers’ perspectives of professional learning communities (PLCs) in a Southeastern United States elementary school. The theories guiding this study were Bandura’s social theory and Herzberg, Mausner, and Synderman’s two-factor theory of motivation. The research questions included: (a) How do elementary teachers describe the purpose of a PLC? (b) How do elementary teachers describe the experiences in PLCs? and (c) What are elementary teachers’ perceptions of benefits and barriers of PLCs? This study aimed to explore the perspectives of elementary teachers in PLCs and the attitudes of these teachers who collaborate in PLCs. The setting was in the Southeastern United States school that has participated in PLCs for many years. A purposeful sample obtained allowed participants to have certain conditions to participate in the study. The sample size utilized 13 teachers. Data collected was through observations, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups. Data was categorized, coded, and analyzed to determine themes and patterns. The results revealed elementary teachers’ perceptions of PLCs as the following themes: benefits included (a) collaboration, (b) shared vision, (c) collective learning, (d) shared practice, and (e) supportive conditions , and barriers included (a) data, (b) pointless, (c) openminded, (d) coaches need move training, (e) norms, (f) roles, (g) agenda, (h) time and (i) trust. The elementary teachers indicated that PLCs are beneficial; however, overcoming some barriers must be part of the process. Recommendations for further study include elementary male teachers’ perspectives of PLCs, other geographical locations, teachers’ perspectives in secondary schools, and elementary teachers’ perspectives on time allotted for PLCs.