Thesis

The impact of professional learning communities on math achievement of 7th grade students

The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) on math achievement of 7th grade students in one middle school in Southern California. The hypothesis was that increased teacher collaboration within professional learning communities may increase student achievement. The researcher designed a mixed-method study to identify the impact of professional learning communities on student achievement. Qualitative data were collected through surveys and interviews with teachers and administrators, and quantitative data were gathered from California Standardized Test (CST) scores. Thirteen math teachers of grades 6-8 were invited to participate in a survey consisting of a Likert scale and an interview. Three administrators were also invited to participate in an interview. The findings indicated that there was a link between increased level of collaboration among 7th grade teachers and increased student achievement in math. The goal of this study was to add to the body of knowledge about the impact of professional learning communities on student achievement. The findings of this study provided school administrators with information regarding effective strategies that can be implemented regarding the development of professional learning communities within a middle school setting.

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