Investigating the Establishment and Sustainability of Professional Learning Communities in Rural East Texas: The Principals' Perspectives

Justin C. Willis, Nathan R. Templeton


The role of principals, especially in rural schools, where educational outcomes fall below the national average, is significant in implementing changes in the school. The focus of this qualitative study was to explore factors that principals deem most crucial to establishing and maintaining Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Moreover, elements linked to how principals perceive the practicality of developing and supporting PLCs in rural schools were examined. The researcher conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with principals to determine their perceptions about attributes most important in establishing PLCs. Seven principals with a minimum number of 3 years in the position were included in the study. Findings indicated that buy-in from teachers and mutual trusts were substantial factors influencing the leadership component of PLCs in rural schools. As the researchers concluded, principals must intentionally facilitate connecting the PLC framework using professional development to affect organizational change and subsequently impact campus learning.


professional learning communities; rural school leadership; organizational change


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