Secondary Mathematics Teacher Collaboration in a Professional Learning Community: Impact on Student Achievement on the Missouri Assessment Program

Date of Graduation

Spring 2007


Master of Science in Mathematics



Committee Chair

Linda Plymate


After involvement in a building-wide improvement initiative, Professional Learning Communities (PLC), the researcher witnessed an improvement in student performance on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test among sophomore students. The purposes of the study were to determine if other PLC high schools in Missouri experienced similar improvements on the 2001 to 2005 MAP tests and whether mathematics teachers believed collaboration, a component of the PLC model, contributed to the results. By analyzing Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) MAP test data and separating schools into two groups, PLC and non-PLC high schools, the researcher determined that PLC schools not only had a statistically significant higher percentage of high-achieving students but also a statistically significant lower percentage of low-achieving students. The results from an attitude survey given to mathematics teachers in PLC schools indicated that the culture of the school and department accurately reflect the PLC model. The survey also showed that mathematics teachers believed collaboration contributed to a department's success and that those collaborations focused mainly on student learning, data-based inquiry, and pedagogy. Changing the climate of the school through a PLC and utilizing collaboration during the school day, student achievement was enhanced and math departments more easily adjusted curriculum to adapt to educational changes.


Professional Learning Communities (PLC), teacher collaboration, Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test, secondary school mathematics, school reform

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