Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

Linda Bol

Committee Member

Stephen Myran

Committee Member

William Owings


The extent to which principals in suburban elementary and secondary schools lead schools to be ready to transform into professional learning committees was investigated. Data were collected through the use of the Professional Learning Communities Assessment – Revised (PLCA-R) questionnaire administered to principals, assistant principals and lead teachers as identified by their principals. Findings from the PLCA-R determined a ranked order for the 45 schools that completed the questionnaire. Following the questionnaire, one-on-one face-to-face interviews were conducted with the six principals from the three highest ranked elementary schools and the three highest ranked secondary schools. Six lead teachers, one from each of the principal's schools, were also interviewed. Interview data were reviewed to develop five main themes and thirteen subthemes. The data collected primarily supported research conducted with PLC's. The findings further suggested producing seven ideals principals could use to help their schools become ready to transform to professional learning communities. These ideals were based on communication, development and understanding of school-wide goals, instructional based meetings, easy access to data, availability of the principal, administrative support for teachers and transparency of the decision making process. Implications for future practice and directions for further research are also discussed.


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