As a cornerstone of the foundations of American democracy, the educational community in the United States has experienced a litany of reform initiatives and models. The last 20 years brought intense efforts at reform from a variety of disciplines (Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde, 2005). Although these reform efforts were rooted in ideals designed to improve education and the educational systems, history shows most of these reformations have been unable to change practice on a large scale, left teacher knowledge and skills untouched, and failed to yield long-term results in the classroom (Elmore, 2004; Fullan, 2005; Sparks, 2002).
The literature about recent school reform frequently highlights professional learning communities and collaborative teacher models as an effective improvement component (Fullan, 2000; Hord, 1997; Sagor, 1991). While there is a variety of professional learning community and teacher collaboration models described in the literature, it is clear the terms mean different things to different authors.
A great deal of the evidence of success for collaborative models relates to teacher efficacy or anecdotal reports on school improvement initiatives. Few directly link professional learning communities and collaborative teacher practices to measurable improvements in academic achievement (Abel, 2005; Baron, 2005; Fulton, Burns, & Goldenberg, 2005). Where growth in student achievement was reported, little was included about the framework or the structure of the collaborative system, and often, key contextual factors were not considered.
The authors of this study have developed a collaborative model which incorporates six key components discussed in the literature. This study of two high-performing elementary schools attempts to document whether there is a link between teacher perceptions of participation in a structured collaborative model/Professional Learning Community and student achievement. The study analyzes the impact that the practiced collaborative model has on the teaching and therefore the learning in the classroom.
|Commitee:||Howser, Mike, Russell, Maryalice|
|School:||Lewis and Clark College|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Collaborative teaching, Professional learning communities, Teacher collaboration|
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