The relationship between professional learning community implementation and teacher decision-making
Educational reform has been a topic of intense interest since the 1950's (Brost, 2000; Lambert, 2003; Servage 2009; Watson, 2014). Researchers have routinely proposed that schools must evolve to be much more adaptable and much more responsive to students' needs (Brost, 2000; Servage, 2009). A great deal of educational research exists that indicates that, in order to accomplish educational reform, teachers must be more involved in decision-making processes (Brost, 2000; Conley, 1991; DuFour & Eaker, 1998; Odden & Wohlstetter, 1995; Liontos, 1993; Smylie, Lazarus & Brownlee-Conyers, 1996; York-Barr & Duke, 2004); and empowering teachers to reflect, collaborate, and act collectively as a means to enhance student achievement figures prominently in many current public school reform initiatives (Duffy, Mattingly, & Randolph, 2006; DuFour & Eaker, 1998; Gates & Watkins, 2010). According to Howey (1988), teacher leadership is both natural and necessary in today's climate of increasing demands for excellence being placed on schools. His assertion that reform can only be effective if addressed by those who reside where the problems are is a common theme in educational research (Brost, 2000; Clark & Clark, 2002; Liontos, 1993; Odden & Wohlstetter, 1995; Smylie et al., 1996; York-Barr & Duke, 2004).