Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Chad D. Ellett

Second Advisor

Terry Geske


The purpose of this study was to explore personal and organizational factors within schools operating as professional learning communities and the relationships of these variables with intent to stay in teaching and organizational effectiveness. A conceptual framework, a Professional Learning Community Model, was developed to organize and conceptualize linkages among school culture, teacher self-efficacy, collective efficacy, human caring, intent to stay, and organizational effectiveness. Original measures were developed to assess teacher self-efficacy and collective efficacy and revisions/modifications of measures were used for school culture, human caring, and intent to stay. The study used a large sample and quantitative data analysis methods to examine relationships among the variables. The study was conducted in elementary schools using anonymous self-report teacher surveys. Usable data were received from 1444 teachers in 95 elementary schools. Six measures were used for data collection: the Revised School Culture Elements Questionnaire, the Teacher-Efficacy Beliefs Scales, Self-Form and Collective Form, both developed specifically for the study, the Human Caring Inventory-Teacher Form, modified specifically for this study, the Intent to Stay, modified specifically for this study, and the Index of Perceived Organizational Effectiveness. Major findings of the study showed that: (1) the measures developed and modified for use in the study demonstrated reasonable psychometric qualities; (2) positive relationships were evident among and between the study variables of school culture, teacher efficacy beliefs, and human caring; (3) the human caring element of professional commitment was identified as the strongest predictor of teachers' intentions to remain in the teaching profession; (4) collective efficacy beliefs were identified as the strongest predictor of school organizational effectiveness; (5) organizational effectiveness was identified as the strongest predictor of effective school outcomes (exclusive of socioeconomic status) as defined by the Louisiana School Performance Scores; and (6) the Professional Learning Community Model developed for this study provided reasonable support for rather strong, positive relationships between the study variables within the model and empirical data to support existing discussions in the professional literature on learning communities.