Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Instructional designers are not often found in a public school setting. However, the leadership an instructional designer can provide, especially as part of a professional learning community (PLC), could help achieve the transformational change for which many schools are looking. With the issues cited by Hoyle and Kutka (2008) in public education today, such as the drop out rate and increased necessity for remedial coursework at the college level, the need for effective instructional design practices being implemented by high school teachers is great. However, as Moallem (1998) notes, “Teachers’ use of instructional design practices is not encouraging (Driscoll, 1989; Martin, 1990). Research on teacher planning and decision-making processes (e.g., Brown, 1988; Kagan, 1992; Reynolds, 1992; Shavelson, 1983) revealed that teachers typically do not plan and provide instruction in accordance with [instructional design] procedures” (p. 38). Change is required if education is to meet the rapidly changing needs of society today. Evidence is building that change in instructive practice does not occur unless faculty become involved in leadership, including professional development and professional learning communities (Bezzina, 2006; Colbert, Brown, Choi, & Thomas, 2008; Pijanowski, 2010). The implementation of professional learning communities (PLCs) in a public school requires leadership from both administration and from faculty. While it may seem counterintuitive, guidance and direction from the faculty is more important than the management of the administration. Specifically, an instructional designer would have a vital role in the success of a professional learning community striving toward transformative instructional change, and should be part of the faculty team.


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