Teacher Participation and Professional Learning Communities: A Qualitative Descriptive Study

Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (EdD)

Committee Chair

Wanda Fernandopulle

Committee Member

Donis Toler

Committee Member

Solomon Tention


The proposed qualitative year-long descriptive study explored how high school teachers who participated in a Professional Learning Community had their school leadership aspirations impacted while serving in the New York City Public School System. Currently, the system has a dire need to fill school and district instructional, supervisory, and administrative leadership positions. The Servant Leadership Theory (Greenleaf, 2007) and the Distributive Leadership Theory (Spillane et al., 2001) were used to underpin the study, giving credence to a supportive and collaborative environment. The study was guided by the following research: How do public high school teachers who participate in a professional learning community describe the influence of their participation on their school leadership aspirations at a New York City public school? The participants were 12 high school teachers who work in a public high school in a school district in New York City and agreed to answer semi-structured interview questions. Zoom was employed in the transcription and MAXQDA software was the primary tool used in the analysis of the themes born out of the coding of the interviews. The study findings uncovered three main themes: administration perception in PLC influenced teaches’ perception of leaders; teachers gained leadership training and skills through professional learning communities; and participation in a professional learning community encouraged teacher leadership aspirations.