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Comparative Studies of Professional Learning Communities in Three Countries with a Distributed Leadership Approach
|Abstract:||本跨國研究計畫首要目的為探討專業學習社群的理論、策略及歷時性演變，藉由比 較教育研究框架以明析專業學習社群（professional learning communities, PLC）、教師領 導、教師培力、組織學習與學校革新之間的關係。本研究計畫由台灣、新加坡、美國三 地學者共同合作執行，國外合作學者為Clive Dimmock 和Jane Huffman 教授，預計執行 期程為5 年。欲探究研究問題包含： 1. PLCs在台灣、美國與新加坡三地的特徵為何？ 2. 阻礙或有助於PLCs發展的因素為何？ 3. PLCs 隱含何種分散式領導實踐系統與溝通約定（artifacts）？ 4. 溝通約定如何將個人努力成果整合為團體協同行動，以支持教師的專業成長 和能力提升？造成個人努力成果與共享實踐互動的主要原因為何？ 5. 形構PLCs 的過程裡，不同的文化、國家、乃至於學校脈絡是否扮演關鍵角色？ 不同脈絡下的PLCs 有何相似與歧異之處？ 為處理上述目的與問題，本研究採用方法包括問卷、個案研究，並將於三地分別召 開說明會與座談會，採集三地實務經驗。為方便三地PLCs 經驗之深耕與交流，本研究 也規畫辦理PLC 工作坊及建立E 化溝通平台。 本研究之重要性有四。首先，跨國合作能帶進不同觀點的在地實踐，充分結合理 論與學校改革實際行動，建立以脈絡為本的理論，尤其有助於深化專業學習社群與分 散式領導實踐的社會理論範式。再者，本研究意欲探究PLCs 在台灣、新加坡與美國三 地差異實踐中的內涵和方法，這三地的PLCs 形塑過程均受到不同文化與學校結構因素 影響，透過比較研究，可以重探PLCs 在支援性和共享領導、共享價值觀與願景、共同 學習和學習成果的應用、共享實務經驗、內部與外部支援等五大面向，以檢視在地學 校的教育系統和文化要素如何重塑打造PLCs 工具與具體行動策略。復次，本研究計畫 也想要探討PLCs 在不同學校中如何運作，以及如何啟動學校變革契機。引動學校變革 和文化重塑的教師領導投入所展現的特色，或許可以標示出不同發展階段的PLCs。最 後，本跨國合作研究的核心議題乃在於PLCs 理論、策略和發展階段，透過比較研究路 徑，本研究在分散式領導實踐、PLC 模式和理論的研究發現和建構，將有助於從比較 觀點中對教師培力與學校改革之關係獲致系統性、全面性、整合性以及敏於文化的認 識。|
This three-way collaborative research aims to broaden and deepen the understanding of professional learning communities and teacher leadership in relation with teacher empowerment and organization learning, and school improvement. The other two research partners, Dr. Jane Huffman and Dr. Clive Dimmock, agreed to join this 5-year plan for a comprehensive research in three countries: Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States. The theory, strategies, and evolvement stages of PLCs will be the primary issues of this collaborative research. The research questions are: 1. What are characteristics of PLCs found in Taiwan, the United States, and Singapore? 2. What factors help or hinder the creation and development of professional learning communities? 3. What is a system of distributed leadership practice (artifacts) can be found in formation of PLCs? 4. How do the artifacts integrate individual efforts into a synergy of collaborative action to sustain professional growth and capacity building of teachers? What are key factors can be found from the interaction between individual efforts and shared practices? 5. Do cultural factors, national contexts and school contexts play any crucial roles on shaping PLCs? What are the similarities and differences of PLC formation found in different contexts? The research devices include survey, case studies, and forums in three countries. In addition, we conduct intervention workshops and build up e-network for PLC experience exchanges in three research environments. The significance of the research findings is forth folds. First of all, the collaborative efforts will bring in a variety of perspectives and local practices for aspiring a context-sensitive theory building, the bridge across current theory and practice of school improvement, and particular concentration on social theory of learning in relation with the practices of PLCs and distributed leadership practice. Secondly, the “what” and “how” questions of this study imply rich and diverse PLC practical issues in three different contexts of Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States. The formation of PLCs in three countries is possibly affected by both cultural and local school systemic factors. By means of comparative studies, we can revisit the established five dimensions of PLCs, including shared and supportive leadership, shared values and vision, collective learning and application, shared personal practice, and supportive conditions, and see how educational systems and cultural factors serve as mediating influences on reshaping common PLC tools and intervention strategies in constructing PLCs in local schools. Thirdly, the research project investigates how PLCs possibly work and make changes in different schools in an incremental way. Different stages of PLC development may be found to mark the features of teacher-led efforts in bringing about school changes and reculturing. And last, the theory, strategies, and stages of PLCs will be the primary issues of this collaborative research. The findings and establishment of the distributed leadership practice and PLC models and theories will contribute to the comprehensive, systemic, integrating, and cultural-sensitive understanding of teacher empowerment in relation with school improvement in a comparative perspective.
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