Report: Learning Sciences International Explores Relationship Between PLC Practices, Teacher Morale, and Student Performance

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Learning Sciences International researchers share findings of a study linking high teacher morale to specific Professional Learning Community practices.

Did You Know? Your School’s PLCs Have a Major Impact

Did You Know? Your School’s PLCs Have a Major Impact

Where PLCs collaborate on student work and achievement data, teachers are more likely to be satisfied and, therefore, effective.

The Learning Sciences International (LSI) research team, led by Senior Research Analyst Lindsey Devers Basileo, Ph.D., has released a report, Did You Know? Your School’s PLCs Have a Major Impact. Expanding on existing research about the role that human and social capital, collaboration, and knowledge sharing all play in education, LSI found that when Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) meet frequently to examine and analyze student work and data, higher levels of teacher morale tend to prevail.

Looking specifically at the impact of PLCs on teacher morale, the researchers asked educators about the amount of time their PLCs spent discussing various practices, as well as their feelings about how PLC meetings impacted their own morale.

Comparing the responses, the researchers found that, in line with other studies, higher teacher morale and PLC practices that aim to improve and deepen student learning had a positive and significant relationship. In turn, lower teacher morale correlated with discussions about student behavior, building issues, and organizational activities—practices that aren’t as likely to drive achievement.

“Where PLCs collaborate on student work and achievement data, teachers are more likely to be satisfied and, therefore, effective,” says Basileo. “Administrators will do well to give teachers the tools and support they need to ensure that they are focused on work that will both boost morale and create the highest levels of social capital in their school environments.”

The report is available for download on the Learning Sciences website.

Learning Sciences International, a leading provider of professional development and performance management in education, combines research-based instructional strategies, evaluation models, and classroom monitoring techniques with advanced web-based technology to foster meaningful growth in educators and leadership. Founded by former university faculty members and researchers, the company supports schools and educational initiatives in 11 countries and serves 311,000 teachers and more than 4 million students in the United States.

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Maia Appleby
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