Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Norman Weston


To improve professional development, a professional learning community (PLC) was initiated at a small, K–12 Islamic school in northwest suburban Chicago, IL. This evaluation describes and assesses the initiation and year-one implementation of the PLC, and focuses on teachers’ literacy instruction skills. A formative evaluation approach was used to monitor and assess progress and encourage teachers’ ownership of their learning. Teachers collaborated in large and smaller grade or subject area PLC groups to identify, chart, and implement new teaching strategies under peer observation for feedback. Teachers succeeded in establishing school-wide literacy strategies; however, issues challenged the PLC’s future—time, resources, and administrative support. Recommendations for improvement include: allocating school time for teacher collaboration; implementing differentiated instruction; incorporating regular real-time assessment of student learning; providing administrative support and resources; and working on attracting and retaining teachers.