Building Teacher Leaders while Preparing Future Teachers Through a Professional Learning Community of Preservice and Inservice Teacher

Faculty Sponsor

Benjamin Boche


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


Studies support that field-based partnerships with universities can benefit pre-service and in-service teachers (Yuan 2016). It can increase support for the pre-service teacher while educating the cooperating teacher on best practices for mentorship in the classroom. To bridge the gap amongst universities and in-service teachers, Valparaiso University developed a networked PLC with two northwestern Indiana school districts: one urban and one rural. The Professional Learning Community consisted of 21 practicing teachers that were brought to campus monthly for meetings that provided professional development and support for their classrooms. Written surveys were sent to the in-service teachers regarding their experiences in the PLC and how it affected the mentorship of their respective pre-service teacher. Oral interviews were conducted with pre-service teachers at the conclusion of their time in the field. The results were compared to previous pre-service teachers whose cooperating teachers were not in a networked PLC. The data was then coded and analyzed. Major findings will be shared at the symposium.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Emily Heggeland is a sophomore Elementary Education student with a minor in Special Education. She is the vice president of the Elementary Education Executive Board, and she has been conducting research within the Education Department since the fall of 2021. Emily has an interest in administration and hopes to teach in Higher Education in the future.

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