International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Preparing Reading/Literacy Specialists: Utilizing Professional Learning Communities, Resources, and Responses
Dr. Chhanda Islam

This study examined the impact of a professional learning community (PLC) and research-based teaching practices on candidates’ knowledge and practice. Because of the transition to a virtual learning classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic (Murphy et al., 2020), a Midwestern university offered a literacy methods class using a synchronous learning mode wherein candidates were able to interact with their classmates and their instructor. The asynchronous CANVAS, a learning management system was used to post lectures, course information, assignments, and grades. To excel in the virtual setting required that candidates be actively involved in the class (Bao, 2020). The Jamboard interactive whiteboard ( was used to brainstorm and develop new ideas and build communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. The purpose of this methods class is to prepare candidates who are working as literacy coaches and reading specialists to assess and diagnose literacy difficulties of students in Grades P–12. Other purposes are to select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments—including performance assessments, both traditional and online—to specifically communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences. The candidates are required to interpret the PLC as a collaborative culture conducive to learning and student achievement. In addition, it is essential that candidates share pedagogical knowledge and instructional practices through job-embedded learning using Zoom and Jamboard. When the instructor provides candidates with the necessary tools and knowledge to be successful, it affords each candidate greater opportunity to apply their knowledge toward learning (Hannaford, 2010). This study contributes to positive social change during theCOVID-19 pandemic by increasing candidates’ awareness and understanding of how collaborative cultures, specifically PLCs, contribute to overall school success (Evans, 2012).

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