Developing a Professional Learning Community among Preservice Teachers
This action research study examined the development of a professional learning community (PLC) among 20 preservice secondary teachers as they met regularly during a semester-long, field-based education course to share artifacts of learning from their professional portfolios. The PLC model described by Hord and Tobia (2012) served as a framework for the implementation of this collaborative approach. The findings indicated that some aspects of the preservice teachers’ PLCs worked well while others did not. The participants enjoyed meeting with classmates, offering emotional support, and sharing their experiences from the university course and cooperating teachers’ classes. However, they struggled with focusing attention on their high school students’ learning, selecting a PLC leader, managing their time, and offering constructive feedback to other group members. The results suggest that the Hord and Tobia model of PLCs is useful and deserves further consideration from teacher educators working with preservice teachers.