From Isolation to Collaboration: Changing School Culture through Learning Communities

Jessica L. Devine, EdD, Christina M. Pavlak, PhD


In this qualitative study, we investigated the effectiveness of a change in structure of faculty development, specifically the implementation of learning communities, and its impact on the culture of a university school of education. Data sources included surveys, reflections, and archival documents. Data analysis indicated positive impact on participants’ perceptions of their development and the school’s culture relating to four themes: reflection, communication, collaboration, and climate. Learning communities provided a vehicle for collaborative professional development. They allowed time for reflection, enhanced communication, bridged full and part-time faculty, and created a shift in culture from one of isolation to collaboration.