Elske Muilenburg, MSc is a PhD candidate at ELAN, Department of Teacher Development in the Faculty of Behavioural, Management, and Social Sciences of the University of Twente. Elske’s research focuses on the role of school leadership in realizing sustainable school improvement through professional learning communities.
A promising way to realize school improvement is through the work of professional learning communities (PLCs). However, it is a challenge for these PLCs to realize sustainable school improvement. Leadership plays an important role in this process. By leadership we do not mean one single formal leader, but rather the whole of activities (e.g., facilitate PLC members in time), competencies (e.g., intellectual stimulation of colleges), and organizational structures (e.g., a hierarchical structure). Therefore, this study focusses on the role of leadership in realizing sustainable school improvement by PLCs, and which competences are needed for this in the school.
A total of eight schools will participate in this study. Six of the schools are still working with the PLC; two schools are not working with the PLC anymore. Data will be collected and the social networks will be mapped through interviews, questionnaires and ethnographic field work.