Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

John C. Lundt

Commitee Members

Roberta Evans, Dean Sorenson, Frances O'Reilly, Gerald E. Evans


learning communities, PLC, professional learning communities


University of Montana


Longitudinal studies carried out by Statistics Canada and Human Resources Development Canada (Bowlby & McMullen, 2002) identified that dropout rates are high in Canada in relation to other developed nations. In 2003, Alberta's Commission on Learning found that one quarter of Alberta's high school enrollees were not completing high school. The Commission proposed the formation of learning communities as one way to increase the achievement of students in Alberta, with the intention that this would then increase the number of students completing high school. This research was undertaken to ascertain how mature the learning communities were in the high schools in Zone 6 of Southern Alberta, and whether there was a relationship between the maturity of a school's learning community and the school's achievement and high school completion rates. As the findings demonstrate, some relationships may have existed between the maturity of the schools' learning community and the diploma examination results, especially in Social Studies. Correlations were not found between the maturity of a school's learning community and eligibility for Rutherford Scholarships, the percentage of students taking four or more diploma examinations, and high school completion rates. The research did show, however, the levels of maturity in each of the learning communities at the time of this study, and the areas requiring further attention. The dimension of the learning communities requiring the most attention was found to be in the area of peer observation and feedback.



© Copyright 2008 Corrienne Janet Beres