Professional learning communities and teaching and learning culture in three secondary schools in the Pinetown District.
Shange, Sibongile Aurelia.
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The need for working together of educators in schools is up-and-coming. In the olden days teachers has been working in isolation and this practice has limited their opportunities of sharing information and benefit from other educators. Therefore, introduction of professional learning communities has given educators platform to learn from one another and share whatever information that they have. School principals as leaders can play a significant role in promoting PLCs in schools. As a result a qualitative case study was undertaken to explore the role of professional learning communities and teaching and learning culture in schools. The focus of the study was based on the assumption that these principals would have encouraged educators to share information in professional learning communities after they completed an Advance Certificate in Education - School Leadership (ACESL) which promoted PLCs. The study has made use of semi-structured interviews to generate data. Interviews were recorded and transcribed before they were analysed. The data from transcriptions was coded and themes were developed from the coded data. The documents were analysed through critical analysis which was done to ensure reliability and conformability of documents. The results of the study reveal that, (i) educators from these schools have never heard about PLCs before so it means that their principals have never implemented what they have learnt from ACESL. (ii) Even though the PLCs were not formally introduced to the educators but there is an indication that educators work as teams and team teaching is encouraged in some of the schools. (iii) IQMS assists the SMT to identify areas of development and develop educators. (iv) Teaching and learning cannot only be promoted by encouraging educators to attend to their classes and interact with one another; learners also need some form of encouragement. (v) Parents need to be involved in the education of their children because it is important for them to know what their children are doing in school. (vi) Some principals invest on resources that will assist educators to improve their teaching.