TRIBES, An Effective Professional Development Approach: A Case Study
A. Kuʻulei Serna, Ph.D. & Lynn Shoji, M.Ed.


Teachers play an important role in school-aged children’s lives to support their need to learn 21st century skills, like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, media literacy, personal and social skills, etc. A classroom teacher is significant in establishing a learning environment in which all students are accepted, valued, and respected and have opportunities for academic success (American Psychological Association, Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education, 2015). The practice of 21st century skills prepares students for college, career, and citizenship. Teachers need professional preparation to support their effort to implement teaching strategies that enable students to learn and demonstrate 21st century skills. This paper examines the TRIBES Tribe Learning Community (TRIBES TLC) process as an effective professional development approach that supports 21st century learning using a single case study. The TRIBES process and use of strategies are based on researched principles that support children’s academic learning and social-emotional development. Results of this study confirms that the praxis of the TRIBES TLC process inherently creates a learning environment that is student-centered and provides experiential learning strategies to promote student achievement of 21st century skills.