Date of Award


Degree Type

Certificate of Advanced Study


Educational Leadership


Michael K. Barbour


An initial curiosity around the variations and effectiveness of literacy coaching led to the extension of this research study, which explored the needs of adult learners in general as they existed and operated in their professional learning communities (PLCs). With a greater understanding of what adult learners sought from their learning communities, the research also established why certain adult learners pursued leadership positions, specifically was there a common profile of an adult learner who decided to lead PLCs instead of just participating. This study explored the functioning of the adult learners in their current PLCs and the perspectives of those learners as potential leaders at Westlake Middle School. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data were collected using two surveys and individual interviews. Results indicated that adult learners sought more democratic teams with more voice in the shared envisioning of the school. Structural constraints limited these two adult needs. Team trust and mutual respect were identified as areas for cultural improvements.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the coursework required for the post-masters' Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Educational Leadership.



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