Establishing the role of meetings of professional learning community for teachers’ continuing professional development in Chibolya and Mumuni zones in Lusaka district, Zambia.

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Mamba, Chiliba
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The University of Zambia
This study aimed at establishing the role of meetings of professional learning community for teachers’ Continuing Professional Development in Chibolya and Mumuni Zones in Lusaka district. The objectives of the study were to determine the importance of the Professional Learning Community meetings for teachers’ Continuing Professional Development; examine the organisation and operation of the Professional Learning Community; and establish how the Professional Learning Community meeting of any particular subject area has contributed to Continuing Professional Development for teachers in Chibolya and Mumuni Zones in Lusaka district of Zambia. This study adopted a case study design using qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. The sample comprised 20 teachers consisting of 10 participants from each zone who were purposively selected. The data were collected using in-depth interviews and focused group discussions with teachers of given subject fields in each zone. The study findings revealed that a number of school teachers have knowledge about the significance of professional learning community meetings, however a few teachers did not have the knowledge of these meetings because they were not taught or taken on board for such meetings as such, notably were a preserve of experienced teachers in most cases, particularly when it comes to meetings outside the province. As regards the organisation and operation of professional learning community, the study findings showed that PLC meetings were founded on the leadership team structure which comprises elected or appointed members at association and departmental level in schools and operates within the laid down guidelines. It was also found that the main objective of PLC meetings was to offer educators the opportunity to share new knowledge and best practices that enhance the educational outcomes of the learners, and fostered research or other activities among the teachers that had positive impact on the learners and their institutions. Basing on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made: since the study findings have shown that PLC has a policy in place but that it is weak, the Ministry of Education should revisit this aspect with a view of strengthening it; school administrators should ensure participation of all teachers in PLC activities so that they all become abreast with the new teaching methodologies; relational agency should be unpacked for teachers in the PLC in order for it to be developed for optimal efficiency and efficacy.
Professional learning community, Continuing professional development, Teachers, Collaborative learning, Effective , Professional learning community. , Continuing professional development. , Professional Learning Community--Importance of. , Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development.