A cluster analysis exploration of prospective teachers' perceptions of professional learning communities
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摘要There have been urgent needs for building schools as professional learning communities (PLC) for sustainable development to foster student learning in schools (Harris, Jones, & Huffman, 2017; Kruse & Johnson, 2017). It is generally believed that teacher education can assist prospective teachers in obtaining fundamental preparation for becoming teachers, together with teaching practicum that provides hands-on, ‘practicalities of teaching’ experiences in the real school context (Lawson, Çakmak, Gündüz, & Busher, 2015). Few studies found that prospective teachers failed to put theory into practice after graduation when they started to work in schools (Solomon et al., 2017; Zeichner, 2010). Rare studies explored prospective teachers’ readiness for becoming one of the members in schools as professional learning communities. Still, how well current teacher education programmes have prepared prospective teachers in committing themselves in implementing PLC is not fully investigated. Therefore, this study explored prospective teachers’ perceptions of professional learning communities (PLC), as followed by their relationships with different prospective teacher characteristics, including gender, major academic discipline and teaching practicum experience. Data was collected with the use of a 27-item online survey, which was developed with reference to Bolam et al. (2005), Olivier, Hipp, & Huffman (2003), and Angelle & Teague (2014). The survey was conducted to five different cohorts (i.e. 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18) of prospective teachers (N=167) who enrolled in a compulsory course in a local university in Hong Kong. Using principal component analysis, four dimensions of PLC were identified, namely: Reflective Dialogue (Dimension 1), Collective Focus on Student Learning (Dimension 2), Shared Vision (Dimension 3), and Shared and Supported Leadership (Dimension 4). Findings found that prospective teachers tended to be positive towards the realization of PLC in schools, where they were more oriented towards student learning yet less focused on building shared vision. Using K-means cluster analysis, two distinct clusters were identified, namely Moderate PLC (Cluster 1) (N=93) and High PLC (Cluster 2) (N=74), where High PLC group had higher mean scores (i.e. more than a mean score of 5.0) on all the PLC dimensions than Moderate PLC group. Chi-square tests were used to check if there were any relationships between cluster membership and prospective teachers’ general characteristics. ANOVA tests were applied to examine if cluster membership were associated general prospective teacher characteristics. Surprisingly, according to the results of the Chi-square test and the ANOVA test, the significant relationship between cluster membership and major subject discipline was found, where more prospective teachers majoring in English language education belonged to High PLC group whilst they had a higher mean score in the Shared and Supported Leadership (Dimension 4) when compared to other subject disciplines. Implications for teacher education and school development will be discussed at the end of the paper.
著者Sally Wai-Yan WAN
會議名稱British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference 2018
關鍵詞professional learning communities, clustering analysis, Hong Kong

上次更新時間 2018-10-10 於 10:15