A Literacy Coach's Role in Professional Learning Communities in Elementary Schools
Effective professional development for teachers has been a controversial topic in education for many years. Schools beg to answer the question: how do we continue to educate teachers so that student learning will increase? Oftentimes, professional development is a one-day event; information is delivered through direct instruction by a presenter and teachers leave with binders that end up collecting dust on a bookshelf. As educators sift through the policy changes and expectations of Common Core to increase student achievement and learning, the need for continuing growth and learning amongst teachers is crucial to meet these demands. This capstone seeks to answer the question: is there a way to provide teachers with an ongoing learning experience, specifically for literacy instruction? This paper, which is grounded in an extensive review of research literature, will explore the definition of a Professional Learning Community (PLC), the rationale for PLCs and why they are superior to traditional professional development approaches in respect to increasing student learning, a principal’s essential role in creating a conducive environment for successful PLCs, the literacy coach as a facilitator of literacy PLCs in an elementary (K-4) setting, and what research says about how the literacy coach can effectively implement the PLC model in an elementary setting.