The characteristics and perceptions of teachers engaged in leading professional communities
Following educational reform in Israel, teacher-leaders create and lead professional development communities (PDCs), which are professional learning communities with a focus on in-service professional development and/or improving pedagogical effectiveness. Interviews with 30 teacher-leaders and all four district-level program coordinators revealed that, prior to assuming the role, teacher-leaders developed their professional and leadership skills largely in a self-directed manner. They described their PDCs as cohesive and dedicated, cooperative, involving peer-learning, and as creating a knowledge bank of teaching methods and tools. PDCs enable teachers to advance projects within the school and affect school culture. Principals’ involvement with PDCs varied, with their usually considerable involvement very favorably regarded. This article describes these findings and discusses their implications for the professional development of teachers in the international context.
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