Distributed leadership and professional learning community: A case study of innovative teaching in a high school

Pei Ying Chen*, Chuan Chin Chiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines how a high school, based on the "High Scope Program," has built a professional learning community, acquired professional knowledge and skills, and developed new courses and innovative teaching methods in science education. The concept of distributed leadership is employed for analyzing the evolving process of professional learning community. A case study of a high school is used for data collection. It includes participative observation, 10 participants' interviews, focus group discussions, and document analysis. The study reveals that the professional learning community has evolved along with the construction of the "system of practices" and the "artifacts" created by the research team aligned with the shared vision and practices. It sheds new light on the research strategies and heuristic understanding of the relationship between collective learning and innovative teaching. The conceptual framework of this study is capable to be applied to the designing or analysis of the "High Scope Program" or other innovative teaching projects of various purposes, levels, or scales. It also generates rich policy implications in teachers' professional development, curriculum and teaching innovation, and the designing principles of reform projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-86
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar


  • Distributed leadership
  • Innovative teaching
  • Professional learning community
  • Science education
  • Teacher leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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