It is widely recognised that principals play an indispensable role in the professional development of teachers in schools. In the Philippines, principals encourage teachers to participate in the traditional and most common approach to professional development such as conferences, seminars, workshops, and training. Despite documented benefits of these traditional approaches to teacher professional development, recent studies show that many teachers find them insufficient, inconsistent, and sometimes they do not necessarily address teachers’ classroom needs. There is a growing body of literature that recognises the importance of teacher engagement through professional learning communities (PLCs) as a new approach to teacher professional development. The study explored the roles and perspectives of secondary school principals in the development of PLCs in the Philippines. It is an underlying assumption that principals’ understanding of their roles in the implementation of teacher professional development policies in schools is central to the formation of PLCs. This raised two important questions that principals needed to contemplate: How did they view and implement national policies on teacher professional development at the school level? And, how did they perceive and establish PLCs in their schools? The study utilised a qualitative research methodology based on an interpretive paradigm. Through the use of semi-structured interviews alongside policy analysis, three main themes emerged: lack of continuing teacher professional development programmes in the Philippines; varying views of principals in the development of PLCs in schools; and, effective leadership styles as key to support continuing professional development of teachers.
Wenefe Capili-Balbalin, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Stream: Professional Training
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