A Value-Mediated Approach to Profiling Professional Learning Communities in Singapore Schools

    Project: Research project

    Project Details

    Description

    This mixed-methods study provides a baseline report of the Academy of Singapore Teachers’ (AST) implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in Singapore schools. Subscribing to the notion that values underpin dispositions, we employ a value-mediated approach to the profiling of PLCs in Singapore schools. An inductive approach is undertaken to map good practices and challenges in PLCs, and the relationships between teacher Value-Orientations and PLC Engagement. This report consolidates findings from survey and ethnographic observations. A survey was conducted on 96 schools (4690 teachers) to gather teacher self-reports on their personal engagement in PLC activities, and school provisions for a PLC-supportive environment. Ethnographic fieldwork complemented the online questionnaire data collection. Eight schools (11 teams) were selected as case studies to observe how teacher self-reports manifest on the ground, within the context of the conversations that emerge as the teams of teachers meet for PLC. PLCs in Singapore schools predominantly display high Focus on Student Learning. We also observed the emergence of informal mentors in PLCs taking on responsibilities to influence the strategic direction of the teams. Of the four mentoring approaches (Facilitating, Guiding, Accommodating, and Directing), Facilitating approaches were found to be most conducive for encouraging Reflective Dialogue and Collaborative Learning. Directing approaches resulted in lowered PLC Engagement. The study of Value-Orientations highlights that teachers with higher Rule-Orientation and lower Risk Aversion share positive relationships with all PLC Engagement factors, especially with Reflective Dialogue, while Power Distance is inversely related to teacher Focus on Student Learning. However, when individuals form groups, team cultures can inspire members to acquire values that differ from what they otherwise possess as isolated individuals.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/01/1201/07/15

    Keywords

    • professional learning community, sociology of education, cultural values, teacher professionalism, reflective dialogue