Document Type : Mixed Method Research Paper
Educational science, humanities faculty, Shahid Rajaei Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran.
The aim of this study was to investigate the challenges of professional learning communities in elementary schools in Tehran province cities and to provide solutions for its establishment. This research is practical by purpose and mixed by methodology. The population included all 13064 people of elementary school teachers in the academic year of 2018-2019. In the quantitative part, based on Krejci -Morgan table, the sample size of 370 people was selected by cluster multi-stage random sampling. In the qualitative section, 20 distinguished teachers were interviewed purposefully. "Professional Learning Community Assessment" questionnaire by Oliver et al. and a semi-structured open-ended answer questionnaire were used. The content and face validity of the quantitative questionnaire were assessed by five experts and the validity of the open-ended questionnaire was guaranteed by three methods of controlling misunderstandings of respondents' interventions by the researcher's long-term involvement with the research, external control of research by neutral supervisor and participant comments on findings and interpretations in a focus group. For the reliability of the close-ended questionnaire, the acceptable value of Cronbach's alpha was 0.89 and in the open-ended questionnaire, the kappa agreement coefficient between the participants was 0.83. Findings showed the difference between the status of elementary schools in professional learning communities and the desired situation was significant and lower than the desired level, in all components. Based on the content analysis of interview questions, using the method of Corbin and Strauss, for the establishment of professional learning communities in schools practical suggestions in three sections of teachers, principals, and middle administrators were provided.