Response- Research

Please give positive replies to these two classmates there is Classmate 1 & Classmate 2. Please label and replies to them separately. My topic is student learning in single gender classrooms.
Use this below to guide you in what to say in the response. Each reply to the classmates on has to be 200 words long.
For your replies, compare your findings with those of your classmates who share similar topics. Would you recommend any journals or articles?

Classmate# 1
In Chicago, Illinois, there is a high number of African American students who are missing the structure of leadership and guidance to be successful. The lack of leadership has strongly impacted African American students causing them to fail academically; engage in violent behaviors, make poor decision; and led astray from spiritual fundamentals. I believe there is a need to assess how the Christian church can make a difference in African American students in a public school and community settings. While conducting research for this topic, I have found that Christian leadership can have a positive or negative effect on African American students depending on how students are approached on different issues they are faced with. Among researching through different journal articles, authors have displayed different opinions to successfully assist my research topic.

Barrett (2010) “researched the social and cultural experiences of African American students and the influence of the church on positive, academic results by introducing spiritual guidance.” The article noted that the church would be able to, “provide a community where Black students are valued, both for their academic success and, more broadly, as human beings and members of society with promise, with talents to contribute, and for whom success is to be expected” (Barrett, 2010).

According to L, M. F., & Domingues, (2009), “despite the ills of urban public schooling and the risks faced by students who live with social and economic disadvantage, several recent efforts have shown that children and adolescents of color who attend some urban public and private schools, including schools with high concentrations of low-income students, can and do experience educational success”. “As some studies have shown, elements that support success for students of color placed at risk include a supportive and caring environment that facilitates students’ abilities to learn and perform at a high level” (L, M. F., & Domingues, 2009).

Lastly, the idea of Christian principles’ impact on African American Students in public schools and community can potentially unite the cultures of public and private schools to work on a common ground for improving the direction of African American students. According to DeBlois, (1997) “We are learning private (schools) need not be synonymous with exploitation or reduced opportunities for our poorest students. At the same time, we are also realizing that public (schools) does not mean that rules and standards are determined by the lowest common denominator.

The journal articles I have found summarize areas of improving African American students socially, spiritually, mentally and communally. The compilation of information showed that with proper research conducted, a solution can be implemented to start the process of positive growth. This research continues to further my interest to publish a manuscript that will evaluate what is needed for African American students to be successful academically and spiritually.


Barrett, B. D. (2010). Faith in the inner city: The urban black church and students’ educational

outcomes. The Journal of Negro Education, 79(3), 249-262,438.

DeBlois, R. (1997). Public vs. private: Time for an honest discussion that could benefit all

schools. National Association of Secondary School Principals. NASSP Bulletin, 81(589), 90-98.

L, M. F., & Domingues, J. (2009). Educating urban african american children placed at risk:

comparison of two types of catholic middle schools. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 13(1)

Classmate #2

Several articles have been reviewed in relation to the focus problem of the inclusion and embracement of special education teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLC). During the search for resources, it was evident that there is little research on the topic. Sadly, there were only four articles that were found that actually addressed the idea of a PLC in relation to special education, and one of those articles was a synopsis of the articles that were included in the journal where another article found was written.

The purpose of a PLC is to provide an opportunity for schools to help teachers meet the needs of students through teacher collaboration. According to Hardman (2012), the role of a PLC is to provide a context for teachers to reflect on practices, examine evidence related to student outcomes, and make changes to increase student outcomes. Blanton & Perez (2011), offer that PLCs can be broadly defined as collaborative efforts to improve practice and improve student learning. Leko & Brownell (2012) provide insight as to the desire of special educators who want to make improvements in their teaching and reaching students with special needs, but find the school wide professional development inadequate.

Some of the overarching problems faced by schools as a whole are that there are not large quantities of special educators on one campus causing teacher isolation. There are limited numbers of experienced special educators as a whole, and having them collocate for meetings can be very difficult for campuses and districts. Leko & Brownell (2012) found that due to a shortage of highly qualified special educators, there has been a plethora of alternative programs that have been preparing people to fill those roles. Those people may not have an educational background, and may not be ready to effectively join PLCs even if the time and logistical obstacles can be overcome. With that being said, there is a cyclical problem facing professional development designers for school wide PLCs. If there is a shortage of qualified special educators, combined with the obstacle of being able to collate them for meetings, and magnified by the fact that many that come through alternative methods are not prepared to discuss topics needed in a PLC setting, meeting the needs of all of these problems seems greater than first anticipated. There may be a larger problem overall in professional development for special educators.

One of the articles reviewed provided a Web- Based PLC resolution to the collation and isolation problems. This method would allow stake holders to come together through digital means. Unfortunately, the drawbacks to this problem were that the people who participated lacked initiative in guiding discussion, and administrators appeared to be the driving force behind school participation. The teacher participants lacked intrinsic motivation to become the leaders. They appeared to be more of observers than active participants (Hardman, 2012).

Another area that would need to be addressed is the fact that the school wide PLC developers do not focus in on special education topics, and are too general to meet the needs of special educators. Special educators are taught the “one size fits all” ideas, but are left to their own capacity to differentiate it to meet the individualized needs of their students. Again, this causes isolation among special educators who do attend professional development, although several of the articles highly recommend the inclusion of general educators, special educators, administrators, and teacher leaders who are all stake holders in student outcomes.

The overwhelming conclusion one can make based on these articles, and the lack of additional articles, is that this is an area of continued needed research. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome to design an effective PLC which includes and embraces special education teachers.


Blanton, L. P. & Perez, Y. (2011). Exploring the relationship between special education teachers and professional learning communities. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 24(1), 6-16. Retrieved from:

Leko, M. M. & Brownell, M. T. (2009). Crafting quality professional development for special educators: What school leaders should know. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(1), 64-70. Retrieved from:

Hardman (2012). Supporting professional development in special education with web-based professional learning communities: New possibilities with Web 2.0. Journal of Special Education Technology, 27(4), 17-30. Retrieved from:

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