Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Susan M. Baum, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Marcia A. B. Delcourt, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Stephanie L. Bell, Ed.D.


Enhancing one’s professional practice is something that should be ongoing throughout one’s career, especially in the field of education where innovations are consistently emerging. However, educators are not necessarily aware of the fact that they can enhance that practice simply by the way in which they engage collaboratively with one another. To that end, this qualitative research study explored the ways in which K-12 teachers engage with one another through collaborative professional learning experiences. More specifically, the researcher examined the roles and shared the voices of teachers who effectively collaborated in regularly scheduled small group meetings. The perspectives of these teachers immersed in a culture of collaborative learning can help to illustrate and illuminate the essence and impact of collaborative professional growth experiences. This study used a generic qualitative research design to explore how and why collaborative practices positively influenced teacher growth. Methods of data collection included a teacher questionnaire, non-participant observation, teacher interviews, and follow-up procedures. The data analysis process allowed theoretical concepts to emerge. Results suggested that teachers motivated by their own love of learning and desire to grow enter a professional setting where they take ownership of their growth process through predictable schedules outlined with clear expectations. Teachers perceive collaborative learning group time as beneficial and as a positive professional development experience brought about because they have opportunities to actively listen, dialogue, and reflect. The results of this study suggested what factors of a collaborative professional learning model deem it to be successful, and in turn, best enhance the professional practice of educators. Ultimately, information derived from this work is hoped to serve as a guide to help aid schools in purposeful and productive teacher growth.