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Reflective Dialogue in Professional Learning Communities for Educational Leaders

A.J.G., Nijhuis (2021) Reflective Dialogue in Professional Learning Communities for Educational Leaders.

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Abstract:Sustainable implementation and reform of the interdisciplinary curriculum of Saxion University of Applied Sciences requires distributed leadership, specifically through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Reflective Dialogue (RD) is essential to the effectiveness of PLCs because it contributes directly to the learning outcome by reflecting and addressing practice-related issues. However, the effective facilitation of RD is still under debate and little is known about PLCs consisting of educational leaders. A mixed method descriptive case study was performed at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. Two Educational Leadership PLCs were used to describe (i) the conditions, nature and quality of RD within PLCs, the relationship of RD (ii) with the personal learning questions of the educational leaders and (iii) with the collective learning objectives of both PLCs and finally (iv) the RD facilitation within both PLCs. We found that all the required conditions of RD were present, of which emotional safety seemed to be the most evident. In addition, the nature of RD was mainly experienced as interactive reflection, which was achieved by both coaches and educational leaders working in tandem. Furthermore, the quality of RD was most prominent in terms of reflection and feedback in relation to both the personal learning question and the collective learning objective. In facilitation, the balance between supporting and leading was found to be challenging. However, observation of RD is crucial to gain more insight and needs to be included in future research. Furthermore, we recommend alignment between expectations of educational leaders and coaches about the purpose of the PLC.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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