Linda M. Neuzil


Current trends in the education literature currently point to school leadership as responsible for the professional growth of the faculty (Fullan, 2010; Reeves, 2006) leading to the desired academic growth of the students. The Christian school community, however, has limited resources compared to those in the public sector. Unfortunately, the literature rarely includes the 400,000 teachers or the school leaders who have chosen to work in private education and their influence on the lives of over 5 million children (Broughman & Swaim, 2006). By examining effective professional development and its relationship to the development of professional learning communities specifically for Christian schools, this study’s findings provide much needed research for leadership in the private school community. Because participating in professional development is important to continued teacher growth and quality as well as student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2004; Haycock, 1998; National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 1996), it is hoped this study will lead to improved teacher and student performance under the guidance of school leadership. While Headley’s (2003) work surveyed 60 ACSI schools, providing an overview of professional activities most commonly provided for teachers in those schools, additional knowledge is needed about which activities are of most value to professional learning community development, leading to teacher growth and student success.