Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

L. Kathryn Sharp

Committee Members

Rosemary Geiken, Rebecca Isbell


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the implementation of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) as a professional development model effective in altering teachers‘ perceptions of their knowledge and skill in teaching developmental writing in grades K-3. This research is necessary to examine how offering teachers collaborative support needed for understanding and implementing research-based best practice approaches to teach developmental writing strengthens the quality of instructional practice necessary to meet rigorous standards being imparted from Common Core Standards. Through the development of a PLC, teachers have an opportunity for collaborating within the school building, which provides optimal environment for professional development (Lindeman, 1926; Lumpe, 2007). Analysis taken from the pre and post-survey information included the teachers‘ beliefs and understanding of writing development, current use of instruction time for writing, and questions or concerns teachers have about teaching writing. Weekly PLC meetings using a protocol format offered teachers an opportunity to discuss personal experiences with writing instruction and to share any anchor charts, student work, or anecdotal records exemplifying the strategy of focus. Videotaping and reflective journaling collected during the six PLC sessions were transcribed and coded using predetermined and emerging themes within and across each measure. Presentation materials collected as data documentation of the experience aided in validation of the research. Major themes emerged under the code headed as management with sub-codes of planning and classroom management presenting the strongest focus. Major themes also emerged under the code headed as instruction. The strongest areas of focus under the instruction code included subcoded areas conferencing, minilessons, and teaching strategies.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.