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Alternative Title

Process evaluation of professional learning communities at one charter high school

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Professional learning communities, Professional learning communities-Evaluation, High school teachers-In-service training, Anti-racism-Study and teaching-Evaluation, Charter schools, Discrimination in education, Trauma-informed, Anti-racism, Institutional change, Process evaluation, Implicit bias, Racial stress, Profession development


This is a process evaluation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs,) a professional development series for the staff of a charter high school located in a large American city. The series explored implicit bias, trauma-informed practices, relationship-building, and racial stress, and was implemented in the context of a charter school network’s shift towards trauma-informed, anti-racist practices. Through data collected from current PLC participants, this study explores how the content and structure of PLCs impact staff engagement in the sessions as well as staff perceptions of the purpose of PLCs. Findings suggest that PLCs in their current form are a promising model for shifting staff practice as part of an institutional change process. The data also suggests that in order to advance PLCs as a vehicle for individual and collective growth, it may be necessary to give additional attention towards promoting an integrated, whole-organization approach to trauma-informed practices, as well as train competent facilitators of conversations about race.




iv, 63 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-53)