Professional evolution stories as told by secondary teachers while immersed in professional learning community collaboration
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The intent of this single bounded case study, conducted at a large Midwestern high school, was to begin to fill the knowledge gap by providing insight on the evolutionary process of teacher transformation when teachers are immersed in collaboration in a PLC setting. Using a stratified chart to purposefully select 23 participants, my study sought to understand how knowledge was generated and shared. My research did not follow a step by step process, but instead involved seeking meaning and developing interpretive explanations through a double loop feedback process. Four years of archival data were triangulated with 5 collaborative team observations and 17 face-to-face interviews. Specifically, this study sought to discover how teachers evolve. Three stages of evolution emerged from the data: a) knowledge creation, b) collaboration, and c) teacher empowerment. Results found teachers evolve to a final stage of deprivitization of practice. The author of this study was immersed in a professional learning community to design the study, collect the data, and review results obtained at the case setting. Personal experiences as a participant researcher are shared and discussed. This study adds to the body of research by providing teacher stories about their learning process when immersed in a collaborative team environment. Furthermore this research adds to the literature by discussing the factors that attribute to teacher evolution.