Comparing the status of a professional learning community in two South African inviting primary schools
Keywordsinviting schools, assumptions of invitational education, professional learning community, the dimensions of Hord’s model, networked learning communities
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AbstractThis study compared the perceptions of staff of the existence of a professional learning community in two South African inviting schools. School A had been an inviting school since 1993, and a new principal had been appointed in 2010. School B became an inviting school in 2010 under the leadership of a principal who had been at the school for a number of years. A quantitative research design was deemed most appropriate for this study. Hord’s (1996) professional learning community model identifies the following five major attributes of a professional learning community which were used to analyse the findings: (1) shared leadership; (2) a shared school’s values and vision; (3) staff’s collective learning and application; (4) shared professional practice; and (5) the school’s supportive conditions. Although there were similarities to the above five attributes of Hord’s model, which confirmed the existence of a professional learning community in both schools, there were some differences in the responses. These differences were attributed to the fact that although School A had a new principal, the inviting culture had been sustained for a number of years. School B had only been inculcating the inviting culture for almost four years at the time of study. The significant contribution of this study lies in the effect of school contexts and the verification and validation of Hord’s model.
This work is based upon research supported by the National Research Foundation in South Africa
Educational Leadership and Management
Steyn GM 2014. Comparing the status of a professional learning community in two South African inviting primary schools, Pensée Multidisciplinary Journal. May, 76(5): 323 - 341