Click here to view a copy of the EPIC research paper.
The research paper titled, Professional Learning
Communities and Their Impact on Student
Achievement, is highlighted by the Educational
Policy Institute of California at the University
of La Verne (EPIC). EPIC serves to identify,
study and report on issues of import to
California K-12 agencies; to interpret state
laws/policies; and to suggest best practices.
: The purpose of this meta-evaluation
study was to determine whether there is a
difference in student achievement between
schools that implement the Professional Learning
Community (PLC) framework and schools that do
not implement the PLC framework.
: The researchers employed a
meta-evaluation research design that included
gathering, synthesizing, and reporting the
combined results of 13 dissertations on PLCs and
student achievement. In searching for the
studies in ProQuest, the key terms "student
achievement" and "Professional Learning
Communities" were used. All the research studies
examined were conducted between the years 2008
: Nine out of the 13
(69%) studies rendered a statistical
significance in the relationship between the
implementation of PLCs and student achievement.
Although the other four did not find a
relationship between the overall implementation
of PLCs and student achievement, two of those
four did find a positive relationship with
certain sub-domains of a PLC. By and large,
there was a considerable discrepancy in the
instruments used to assess the implementation of
: While there did exist
a positive relationship in more studies than
not, and the levels of achievement varied from
one study to another, it was obvious that
implementation of PLCs was highly inconsistent.
When the 13 researchers' recommended strategies
for successful PLC implementation were combined
and categorized, three overarching themes
emerged. They were: (a) understanding and
implementation of PLCs, (b) resources and
structures for PLCs, and (c) leadership within
Implications for Action
researchers of this study suggested that schools
and districts should continue to build (or
begin) their implementation of PLCs.
Recommendations were also made, based on the
three overarching themes, to assist
practitioners in the planning, implementation,
and institutionalization of PLCs which lead to
gains in achievement.
Wiseman, P. & Arroyo, H. (2011). Professional Learning Communities and Their Impact on Student Achievement. Educational Policy Institute of California at the University of La Verne (EPIC).