The vision and the reality of professional learning communities in Korean schools

Kyounghye Seo, You Kyung Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Professional learning communities have received increasing attention as a key ingredient for improving schools. This study investigated professional learning communities in schools in Korea. The following two research questions guided this investigation. First, to what extent do schools in Korea exhibit the characteristics of professional learning communities? Second, is the development of professional learning communities closely related to teacher, student, and parent satisfaction with their schools? This study used the data from a survey administered by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education during the summer of 2010. A total of 1,738 teachers, 9,748 students, and 14,397 parents from 265 elementary and secondary schools participated in the survey. The results show that, first, schools in Korea exhibit the characteristics of professional learning communities to some extent, though not to the full extent. Second, some characteristics, such as collaboration, tend to be less common in schools in Korea. Third, there are significant school level differences. Elementary schools generally exhibit a higher level of professional learning communities than do secondary schools. Fourth, professional learning communities are closely related to teacher satisfaction with their schools. Finally, there is little correlation between professional learning communities and student and parent satisfaction with their schools. Based on the results of this study, implications for current school reform efforts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-298
Number of pages18
JournalKEDI Journal of Educational Policy
Volume9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Professional learning communities
  • School improvement
  • Shared leadership
  • Teacher satisfaction

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