30May

Teachers' Professional Learning through PLC from Cycle 4 AISI: The Collective Experiences

by Xiong Wang, 
University of Alberta

 

Abstract

This paper analyzed and synthesized 19 final reports for the purpose of understanding the collective experiences of teachers’ professional learning in the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI). Almost twenty (19) final reports were selected from Cycle 4 of AISI to be data for the inquiry of the following five questions: (a) What kind of roles did PLC play in AISI? (b) How did PLC operate in AISI? (c) What kind of effective experiences could PLC offer? (d) How did PLC influence teachers, students, or AISI? and (e) What kinds of challenges did PLC face? For data analysis, a content analysis technique was adopted and a coding scheme developed that included the following dimensions: Roles; Operations; Influences; Effective elements; and Challenges. Answers to these five questions focused upon diverse roles, operations, influences, effective elements, and challenges of PLCs in AISI should help us better understand the collective experiences of successful teachers’ professional learning through PLC and provide ways to improve the application of PLC in schools.

 

1.      Background

 

 The Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) was a province-wide program funded from 2001-2013. The program centered upon teacher-led action research projects, conducted by each administrative district within Alberta. School districts could “use allotted funding to support initiatives” (Day, 2012, p. 2) for the purpose of “improve[ing] student learning through initiatives that enhance student engagement and performance and reflect[ing] the unique needs and circumstances of each school authority” (AISI Education Partners, 2008, p. 2, 2012, p. 1).

Such programs really caught my concern. Frankly speaking, I was quite unfamiliar with these large-scale “grassroots” (Day, 2013, p. 2) projects. However, as a teacher educator and researcher from China, I was curious about how teacher professional learning was proceeding in AISI. According to my own research experiences on teachers’ professional development, I firmly believed teachers would play vital roles in the project (The Alberta Teachers’ Association, n.d.; Ball and Cohen, 1996; Kennedy, 1996). Specifically, in each project, how will teachers understand, implement, or reflect upon their work? Obviously, it was logical that teachers’ professional leaning would be a significant aspect of school action research (Borko, 2004), a fact would also probably hold true for AISI. Therefore, I desire here to explore the conditions of teachers’ professional learning in the site-based action research of AISI by attempting to provide insight about teachers’ professional learning embedded in school sites, which could be used as a reference for any kind of action in school improvements or teachers’ professional development as Day (2013) and Parsons and Beauchamp (2012) have done before.

 

2.      Research Questions  

My primary research question was: “What kind of ‘collective experiences’ (Day, 2013, p. 2) might emerge from the practice used by Alberta school jurisdictions about teachers’ professional learning in AISI?

To address my questions, I followed the method of data searching employed in Day’s (2013) work. Similar to Day, all data were going to be collected from AISI’s official website, a “rich repository of findings of AISI” (Day, 2013, p. 3). Then I found that, of the key words used to classify reports on the website, only “Professional Learning Community” emerged in relation to teachers’ professional learning. With this regard, more specifically, I hoped to further consider the questions: (a) What roles did PLCs play in AISI? (b) How did PLCs operate in AISI? (c) What effective experiences could PLC offer? (d) How did PLC influence teachers, students, or AISI? and (e) What challenges did PLCs meet?

 

3.      Methods

 

3.1 Data

The key words “Professional Learning Community” were used to search the related data on AISI’s official website. Conceivably, it is possible that the abundance of AISI reports could be utilized to frame “a collective picture of the variety” (Day, 2013, p. 3) of research initiative within Alberta school jurisdictions. Thus, to offer a fresh perspective of PLC in AISI, the data searching only focused on the last set of released reports of AISI-Cycle 4.

Specifically, 146 reports from Cycle 4 were collected. After an initial review of these 146 reports, I specifically chose 19 projects to critically review for this paper. The remaining127 were not selected for a number of reasons: (a) 92 of the 127 reports did not provide substantial information about the projects; (b) 29 reports did not involve PLC; and (c) 6 “touched upon” PLCs in their projects’ introduction without offering further information. In fact, the 19 reports chosen included teachers’ professional learning through PLCs. In addition, the project ID was used to identify each report for citation in this paper as a way to address anonymity of the reports. In fact, it proved convenient to track original data from each report cited in this paper because the file name of each report was saved as its own project ID in the database of AISI.

3.2 Content Analysis

Content analysis is most conveniently used with textual types of data in project reports of education and potential to provide a scientific method for the evaluation of such data (Kondracki et al., 2002). With an aim to analyze and synthesize 19 reports, I adopted content analysis to “objectively and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages” (Holsti, 1969, p.14, as cited in Stemler, 2001, para. 1) from those reports.

3.3 Coding Scheme

 For the content analysis, the coding scheme emerged as I read and came to better understand each report. I used the following detailed process. First, the first dimensions (Dimension 1, see Table 1) of the coding scheme were abstracted from each specific question (such as roles, operations, effective elements, influences, and challenges). Second, the first dimensions were used to code the related information from the reports during my first reading; then, the coded information under Dimension 1 was grouped into different categories. Third, the different categories under Dimension 1 were generated into the second dimensions (Dimension 2, see Table 1) of the coding scheme. Finally, building a coding scheme (see Table 1) was completed for all the reports during my second reading.

Table 1 Coding Scheme

Dimension 1

Dimension2

Descriptions

 

 

 

 

Roles

Working mechanism

PLC is an operational mechanism for a predetermined theme of a project.

Working platform

PLC is a platform for teachers to enquire about or share issues in practices.

PD model

PLC, taken as a PD model, represents the conventional way of teaches’ professional learning.

Job mode

Teachers’ professional learning is a part of teachers’ routine work.

 

 

 

Operations

Layers

Layer construction of PLC is the organization of teachers’ professional learning.

Wide sub-groups

Various sub-groups are provided for teachers’ choice to meet their needs.

Informal groups

Informal groups such as Coffee Chat are used to strengthen social relationships

Alternatively working together

Unusual ways of working together are used to encourage teachers to work together.

 

 

 

 

 

Influences

 

 

Positive experiences

Teachers gain positive experiences from professional learning (such as satisfaction)

Teachers’ capacities

Teachers’ capacities are promoted from professional learning such as the skills of doing writing assessment.

Students’ learning improvement

Student learning is improved by teacher’s improved practice through learning in PLC.

Teachers’ beliefs

Teachers become willing to share their expertise and confident in doing better practices.

Culture change

A collaborative culture pervades schools or districts.

Negative feelings

Teachers feel overwhelmed by a number of new initiatives added into their professional learning.

Effective Elements

Pilot focus group

Pilot focus group is to encourage teachers to participate in the collaborative discussion.

Exemplary teaching

Exemplary teaching is taken as a model to work with some new ideas.

Mentorship

Mentorship helps facilitate new teacher participation in projects.

Students’ feedback

Students’ feedback involved in teachers’ professional learning helps guide learning activities design.

Expert facilitation

Involvement of experts might provide theoretical guidance and make practical improvements.

Maintaining momentum

Strategy or action is used to maintain teachers’ momentum during their professional learning.

Technology support

Technology such as Internet is a powerful tool to improve teachers’ professional learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenges

 

Out of classroom

Time for teachers’ professional learning conflicts with that of classroom teaching, and they need to participate in learning out of classroom.

Facilitation

Facilitators expect to best hold teachers accountable to professional learning.

Fragment

Professional learning for teachers is not designed in a holistic way.

Limited time

The scheduled session for professional learning does not provide enough time for teachers’ learning.

Role shift

Participators in professional learning need to change their role from instructors to facilitators.

Culture changes

The conventional working culture for teachers must be changed to fuse collaboration in teacher professional learning.

Common issues

For some faith-based schools, common issues are required to figure out from the prescribed curriculum and the religious and heritage language.

 

4.      Results

  

 Inferences made from the coding results could be used to directly answer five specific research questions because of the abstraction of the first (initial) dimension (or Dimension 1) from those questions. Furthermore, the coding results offer a picture of teachers’ professional learning particularly through Professional Learning Community in AISI.

4.1 Roles

PLCs played a variety of roles in Cycle 4 of AISI, which could be interpreted by the following coding results.

4.1.1 Working Mechanism

The category of working mechanism represented that a project had its own objectives or goals, which could be achieved by using PLCs as a mechanism. From the coding results, it could be seen that PLCs in 4 of 19 projects were regarded as a working mechanism of carrying a theme of a project. For example, in Project No. 30118 (2009), students’ cooperative learning was targeted as a project theme and the aim of teachers’ collaboration in a professional learning community was to enhance students’ cooperative skills. In Project No. 30063 (2009), PLCs were taken as mechanisms to process cooperative learning theme including: (a) providing materials; (b) creating strategies for cooperative learning; (c) reflecting the process; and (d) reporting. In Project No. 30235 (2009), the collaborative analysis of student learning was seen as the working content of teacher teams including: presenting students’ work and providing feedback and potential strategies for teachers’ usage in classroom. Finally, in Project No. 30080 (2009), teachers were encouraged to participate in professional development activities to “build a common pedagogical foundation on how to approach literacy learning, assessing, and teaching” (p. 4). The common features of the PLC in the above projects demonstrated that the projects operated as a working mechanism to achieve their goals.

 4.1.2 Working Platform

The category of working platform represented that teachers could enquire or share issues in their practices through PLCs as working platforms while, in the operation of PLCs, there were no pre-determined themes. In fact, PLCs in 5 out of 19 projects were used as a working platform for enquiring and sharing. In Project No. 30080 (2009), teachers’ collaborations at the grade level included “working toward common professional growth plans; planning literacy lessons; examining new materials/resources; and re-evaluating assessment practices” (p. 8). In Project No. 30081 (2009), several teacher groups analyzed students’ learning activities and outcomes and identified appropriate opportunities by applying authentic assessment tools such as checklists, rating scales, rubrics, and projects. In Project No. 40495 (2010), teachers examined certain researches, discussed their implementation in practice, and reflected the related teaching practices during PLC time.

More sharing could be found in Project No. 30071 (2009) including sharing the successes and failures of practices and the dialogues about new strategies being used in classrooms such as “journals to explain your thinking, visualization, graphic organizers for math vocabulary, hand-on manipulatives, math games, and relating math to real-life situations” (p. 5). Teachers in Project No. 30262 (2009) valued PLCs as means to work with others and to “stay informed of the most effective strategies and philosophies for improving student learning” (p. 8) and found that practical strategies from PLC were easily implemented in their teaching practices.

4.1.3 PD Model

The category of PD model was seen as conventional for PLC. Each project had its own way to make a PD model. In 3 out of 19 projects teachers’ professional learning was set as a PD model. For instance, professional development was sorted into two categories in Project No. 30341(2009), including “Collaboration among system teachers and conferences, symposiums, workshops presented by experts in the field” (p. 7). Specifically, many collaboration forms were indicated, such as “collaborative unit planning, sharing of best strategies, development of common assessment tools, sharing research findings and analyzing results, maintaining ongoing communication, and so on” (p. 7). In addition, several workshops were described in the project.

A teacher-led PD session was initiated in Project No. 30440 on differentiated instructions. In this project, teacher leadership was used in opposition to reliance upon outside experts, and the PD model was expanded into all subject areas when teachers assumed a leadership role in a given subject topic at a given time. Project No. 30020 (2009, p. 9) demonstrated a fundamental PD model which consisted of “five progressive and time-intensive components” such as “teaching of theory and practical strategies and concepts; modeling teachers’ lessons by an expert; teacher practicing in the classroom; monitoring, observing, assessing of individual lesson by the expert, and peer mentoring and collaborative sharing” (p. 9). The project further revealed that, as the PD proceeded, teachers had opportunities to implement, experiment, observe and modify their own teaching practices.

4.1.4 Job mode

 The category of job mode described the professional learning through PLCs that had become a part of teachers’ routine work. In 3 of 19 projects, professional learning was presented as a different way of doing teachers’ routine teaching practices. For example, all teachers in Project No. 40037 (2010) collaborated to improve student performances and such collaborations were embedded in their routine teaching practices. Specifically, teachers participated in an “on-going process whereby they identified the current level of student achievement” (p. 6), provided improvement strategies for current level, and worked together to achieve improvements. Their collaborations had become a part of their routine work in school.

Another job mode, titled “in class professional development,” was created by senior high school teachers in Project No. 30081 (2009); however, there was little detailed information about this job mode. More details were provided in Project No. 40101 (2010) about the third job mode - “job-embedded professional development” (p.5). In this project, teachers worked in groups to choose an educational topic for exploration, research, study, implementation, and reflection as a way to promote their teaching practices and improve student performance throughout the academic year. Towards the end of school year, teachers presented their professional learning to peers (colleagues) at the District level.

My analysis suggests that four kinds of roles could be found in projects that utilized PLCs. Under each category, projects demonstrated different ways of achieving their own goals. Certainly, some projects consisted of more than one role that PLC played; for example, Project No. 30081 included two roles of Working Platform and Job Mode. However, several projects did not present any role for PLCs and could not be coded into any role category I had identified.

4.2 Operations

 In addition to the various roles PLCs played in AISI, the operation of PLC in 19 projects presented another area to be explored. Actually, different projects had their own ways to make PLC run well. The following categories would offer the diversity in the operation of PLC in AISI.

4.2.1 Layers

Certain layers of PLC’s structures were found in some projects. Those layers became the basic foundation of PLC in AISI. For example, a combination of two levels operated in Project No. 30081(2009): these consisted of school-based (one hour per week) and division-based PLCs (three half days per year). Three levels were employed in Project No. 30080: these included District, inter-school, and grade-level PLCs that promoted teachers’ collaboration and lifelong learning.

4.2.2 Wide sub-groups

 Wide sub-groups were considered as an extraordinary way to operate PLCs in AISI. In fact, only one sub-group was found in 19 projects: specifically, Project No. 30081 (2009) employed numerous sub-group PLC choices for teachers ranging from ECS to Grade 5 Elementary music, and from special education to senior high science. Each sub-group worked to meet teachers’ needs with their own choices.

4.2.3 Informal Groups

Wang (2010) noted that social relationships among members were vital for PLC’s effectiveness and were valid ways to enhance teachers’ social relationships. In Project No. 40495 (2010), many informal groups were created: these included Coffee Cup PD, Trading Spaces, Learning Labs, and Lunch Chat with Consultants to build the qualified social relationships among teachers.

4.2.4 Alternatively working together

 In Project No. 30071 (2009), several novel ways of working together were set up to encourage teachers sharing: these included Book Buddies, Work Bees, Math Word Walls, Frayer Models, and Journaling (p. 7). In other projects, multiple operation ways or means were established according to contextual conditions and specific teacher requirements. These were noted as useful references for effectively implementing PLCs in teacher professional learning.

4.3 Influences

What influences did PLC exert upon teachers, students, or schools in AISI? In AISI, PLC’s influences could be thought of as echoes of a PLC’s roles and operations. This area of exploration proved worthy of more attention and understanding.

4.3.1 Positive Experiences

Many positive experiences were explicitly recorded in the AISI reports. In Project No. 30081 (2009), approximately 95% of teachers reported to be satisfied or very satisfied with the support provided by PLCs. In a survey conducted within the district’s AISI project, teachers reported positive experiences from their participation in professional learning. Specifically, in this Project, teachers were encouraged to analyze students’ learning outcomes and made lesson plans that used the best practices being discussed during the PLC meetings accordingly.

Furthermore, in Project No. 30341 (2009), teachers noted: “I have been encouraged with the Math AISI because it has given me access to good, next day/week possibilities that I can immediately put to work.” and “The PLC and support provided with this AISI group is outstanding. I have learned an amazing amount of information this year and also how to implement this information in the classroom in a way that works.” and “The PLC was tremendous - speakers and presenters fantastic and the collaboration was seriously a dream come true for a teacher who is the only one teaching her grade level at her school” (p. 10).

4.3.2 Teachers’ Capacities

In many projects, teachers reported that their capacities had been enhanced. For example, teachers in Project No. 40495 (2010) believed they had improved their abilities to differentiate, to engage students, and to build a math rubric continuum across the grade levels. Focusing on writing assessment, teachers in Project No. 30235 (2009) felt they became more proficient in analyzing student writing by applying collaboratively developed rubrics. And, teachers became better able to orientate student instruction. Apart from their high involvement in PLC in Project No. 30241 (2009), teachers also created and organized their own PLC activities. Thus, their capacity for building PLC activities was seen as an important result of their own professional learning. Finally, in Project No. 30262 (2009), teachers believed PLCs promoted their teaching repertoires and equipped their strategies for enhancing students understanding math and literacy.

4.3.3 Students’ Learning Improvement

Other than teachers’ experiences and capacities, student learning was another major aspect that might be influenced by PLCs. However, there was little evidence indicated of such influence in the reports. Strictly speaking, evidence of influence on students was only found in two projects. In Project No. 30020 (2009), PLC was believed to contribute to teachers’ capacities, passion, and commitment but also to improved student learning because teachers integrated the new practices learned through PLCs into teaching practices and student learning was facilitated by those improved practices. Furthermore, in Project No. 40495 (2010) teachers noted that “students benefited by being more engaged and active participants in their learning through improved practice teaching methods” (p. 8).

4.3.4 Teachers’ Beliefs

The changes of teachers’ beliefs had been recognized as an important indicator of the effectiveness of PLCs (Guskey, 2002). Two kinds of beliefs emerged from the reports. For example, teachers in Project No. 40495 (2010) were more willing to share their expertise, experiences, and comments with others and were more willing to try new ideas such as “Guided Reading programs, utilization of Smart boards in everyday practice and Literacy portfolios” (p. 10). Certainly, teachers were also more confident about their abilities to differentiate and engage classroom teaching. This confidence was also noted by teachers in Project No. 30235 (2009) in teaching writing because PLCs had offered writing strategies and collaborative assessment.

4.3.5 Culture Change

The reports reviewed for this paper suggested that changes in school cultures were impressive results from PLCs. However, only Project No. 30341 (2009) reported such kind of changes as “the growth of a collaborative culture within the division” (p.12). Furthermore, the collaborative work from this project was seen as a seed to help other two districts expand their projects – one a “Technology Managed Learning” and the other a “BCP (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) Project” (p. 12). Moreover, increased interests were expressed by other school jurisdictions outside Alberta in building a similar site for their teachers’ professional learning.

4.3.6 Negative Feelings

Teachers expressed a feeling of being overwhelmed in AISI Project No. 30241 (2009) as a negative impact of PLCs. These teachers reported being overwhelmed when new initiatives were added to their work: these included more effective assessment practices in addition to the increasing special needs of students in classrooms. Some felt pressured in areas of assessment and reporting practices and frustrated with the legwork required getting all assignments in.

The different influences upon teachers, students, and schools exerted by PLCs provided a promising foreground for teachers’ professional learning in AISI. PLCs in AISI included positive experiences, increased various capabilities, building teacher confidence, improved student learning, and cultural changes within divisions. However, teacher’s feelings of being overwhelmed, pressured, or frustrated should not be ignored as PLCs are used within schools or divisions.

4.4 Effective Elements

Many effective elements were reported from the projects in AISI. Much significance in those elements was attached to the effectiveness of PLCs.

4.4.1        Pilot Focus Group

A pilot focus group was established in Project No. 30081 (2009) in which teachers were encouraged to participate in school-based discussions linking student voices to division-wide PLC work and teaching goals.

4.4.2        Exemplary Teaching

In Project No. 30081 (2009), exemplary teaching was regarded as a useful way to help teachers work together and improve practice. For example, it was found that colleagues’ lessons were taken as a thinking model when teachers started to work with new ideas. And, in Project No. 40495 (2010), teaching with colleagues helped teachers do more efficient practices for learners.

4.4.3        Mentorships

Mentorships as a part of PLC had been noted in several projects. For example, in Project No. 30081 (2009), professional mentorships had been developed between new and experienced teachers to push forward teacher professional learning. In Project No. 30235 (2009), five new teachers were provided mentorship and education about writing instruction as a way to maintain the project’s momentum. A similar strategy was also employed in Project No. 30241 (2009).

4.4.4        Students’ Feedback

Engaging student feedback was uncommon in PLCs. In fact, only Project No. 30081 (2009) engaged student feedback as a focus of school-based and division-wide PLC.

4.4.5        Expert Facilitation

Adopting expert facilitation was an effective way to keep PLCs running well. Project No. 30020 (2009) used an in-house expert in one school and an external expert in another to (a) provide practical and directly related balanced literacy in-service, (b) model, (c) observe, assesse, and provide feedback, and (d) mentor to demonstrate to teachers “what needs to be done as part of the program, what the teachers were doing right and what they could do so that student were interested and motivated to learn and even learn more” (p. 12).

4.4.6        Maintaining Momentum

Many actions in Project No. 30241 (2009) were taken to maintain teachers’ momentum during their professional learning. For example, reading corners were set up in staff rooms where teachers had a common place to visit and search for examples or readings on related assessment topics; classroom walkthroughs were initiated to invite teachers to comment on what they were seeing in the classrooms; Gallery walks at the end of each PLC day were used to help teachers share what they had accomplished; and, subject-level teams were grouped where teachers shared ideas and information, plan, and collaborate for the purpose of school improvements.

4.4.7        Technology Support

Technology such as the Internet had been explored as a powerful tool for PLCs (Wang, 2010). Teachers in Project No. 30440 (2009) found that the Internet provided vital collaborative opportunities for small schools where teachers would not feel isolated from outside like before. In one school, the most productive and practical professional learning opportunity was expanded by an expert’s session introducing one learning portal on the websites. Thus, all the teachers were attracted by the websites to explore and exploit resources to the maximization.

 These confirmed effective elements did not work independently in each project but worked dependently within circumstances to demonstrate the significance attached to PLCs and to AISI.

4.5 Challenges

 A number of challenges were clearly indicated in the reports. The following challenges selected in this paper would help us understand teache professional learning in a more comprehensive way.

4.5.1        Out-of-classroom

Being out-of-classroom was seen as a disturbance to classroom continuity for teachers in Project No. 30081 (2009) because substitute teachers were not available in schools. Thus, teachers were reluctant to “take advantage of release time to observe, mentor, peer coach” (p. 20).

4.5.2        Facilitation

 In Project No. 30081 (2009), facilitators were challenged to hold teachers accountable to the work of PLC.

4.5.3        Fragment

The time for PLC or common meeting was considered too short and too sporadic for teachers in Project No. 30080 (2009).

4.5.4        Limited Time

The limited time for PLC meetings was identified as a challenge in many reports. For example, times for PLC meetings were so limited (30 minutes) in Project No. 40495 (2010) that they were seen as too short for teachers to complete the work; there was insufficient time for the PLC sessions and follow-up activities in Project No. 30020 (2009); in Project No. 30241 (2009) teachers had difficulty “building-in embedded time for collaboration or work on PD initiatives without adding more days to the school year” (p. 27); teachers in Project No. 30262 (2009) also believed it was hard to find more time to meet on a regular basis to share their ideas and strategies; and, it was tough for lead teachers in Project No. 30341 (2009) to find time and support to cascade information within their own school that they had to work overtime.

4.5.5        Role Shift

It was quite challenging for teachers in Project No. 30020 (2009) to make the paradigm shift from instructor to facilitator in their collaboration or PD sessions.

4.5.6        Culture Changes

Teachers in Project No. 30241 (2009) had to make a culture shift of “having people observe in your classroom, having to work together on 'top down' projects, changing the 'way how things are done around here'” (p. 26).

4.5.7        Common Issues

For a faith-based school in Project No. 30440 (2009), it remained difficult to find common issues in PLC sessions in terms of the requirements from two aspects of both the prescribed curriculum and the religions and heritage language. Also, it was difficult for the religious and heritage languages to be set in the course content workshops.

In fact, there were certain challenges in PLCs projects. Typically, these challenges were instructive. On one hand, these challenges encouraged teachers to contemplate how projects might be improved. On the other hand, PLCs seemed to push those doing projects to forge ahead with what would worked rather than considering how to make projects better (Project No. 30341, 2009).

 

5.      Conclusions

  

The discussion presented in this paper helps provide a framework for understanding how PLCs functioned in AISI. Using an analysis of 19 selected reports, answers to five specific questions were provided about the diverse roles, operations, influences, effective elements, and challenges of PLC in AISI. Those answers can help us know more about the collective experiences of teacher professional learning through PLCs and provide more insight for improving how PLCs are used in schools. Furthermore, it is possible to use this analysis framework to evaluate self-improvement projects, professional learning programs, or practice in general.

 

6.      Limitations

  

There were three kinds of limitations in this research. First, data analysis was only made by reading selected AISI reports. These sources might be insufficient to understand all the data. Second, the customized report templates prevented me from fully analyzing these reports. Although the project report template offered reporters common elements, it might have resulted in information excluded in many reports. For example, many reports simply listed what teachers had done rather than describing these actions or scenarios more fully. Thus, some reports lacked rich data that made full understanding easy. Third, selected data were collected only from Cycle 4. Such lean selection could have prevented a fuller understanding of teachers’ professional learning. Noting these limitations, perhaps all reports from Cycle 1 to 3 might provide a richer analysis or a fuller view of teacher’s professional learning as researchers attempt a deeper understanding of action research in schools.

 

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