Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

This research study examines how Illinois public high school Career and Technical Education educational leaders employ best practices in providing all students rigorous, relevant, and equitable learning experiences within a professional learning community structure.

This study utilized a mixed method two-tier case study methodology. Tier one consisted of a survey administered to 605 Illinois public high school Career and Technical Education leaders, outside of the Chicago Public School system, with 72 leaders who responded. This survey asked the leaders questions about what CTE programs their schools offered students and how they provided these students rigorous, relevant, and equitable learning experiences that prepared them for college and career within these programs. In addition, the survey asked leaders if their schools were identified as professional learning community schools, as defined by DuFour, DuFour, and Eaker.

Tier two consisted of 10 semi-structured interviews with Career and Technical Education leaders, outside of Chicago Public Schools, whose schools met the identified criteria of providing a successful CTE program within a professional learning community. The participants were asked about how the blended CTE teams within their schools provided students rigorous, relevant, and equitable learning experiences that prepared them for college and career. Data collected from the surveys and interviews were analyzed through the conceptual frameworks of the Illinois Career Cluster Model Framework for Local Implementation and Evaluation of Programs of Study and the Professional Learning Community framework.

This study concluded that according to the perceptions of Illinois public high school leaders, they are providing students with some level of rigorous, relevant, and equitable CTE learning experiences that prepared them for college and career. This study also concluded that the 10 leaders who were interviewed perceived that their CTE teams were attempting to implement the six professional learning community characteristics into their practice. However, these blended teams were faced with challenges of establishing interdependence within a division that has multiple singleton teachers, especially when taking action and "learning by doing" together for a common purpose.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS