Investigating the Establishment and Sustainability of Professional Learning Communities in Rural East Texas: The Principals’ Perspective

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Summer 2016


Educational leaders nationwide encourage schools to establish professional learning communities to improve student performance. Concurrently, the role of principals, especially in rural schools where educational outcomes fall below the national average, is significant in implementing changes in the school. The focus of this qualitative study was to explore factors that principals deem most crucial to establishing and maintaining Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Moreover, elements linked to how principals perceive the practicality of developing and supporting PLCs in rural schools were examined. The researcher conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with principals to determine their perceptions about attributes most important in establishing PLCs. Seven principals with a minimum number of 3 years in the position were included in the study. Findings indicated that buy-in from teachers and mutual trust were the most substantial factors that influenced creating the leadership component of PLCs in rural schools.


Nathan R Templeton

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision