Date of Award

Spring 3-2016

Access Restriction

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Franca Dell'Olio, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Emilio Pack, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia Wu, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher perceptions of Collaborative Inquiry embedded in a Professional Learning Community during departmental collaboration time and to explore the elements deemed most important to creating and/or maintaining this collaboration model at Lennox Charter High School. Teachers at Lennox Charter High School participated in this study.

This mixed-methods case study triangulated survey, focus group, interview, and observation data to examine departmental collaboration and to define the elements most important to maintaining and improving Collaborative Inquiry at Lennox Charter High School.

These elements were explored through the lens of research on Professional Learning Communities and Collaborative Inquiry. Specifically, data were examined with respect to the five themes of PLC work. These themes included context, challenge, capacity, commitments, and balancing content and process.

A close examination of the data with respect to these themes revealed key take-aways for Lennox Charter High School; namely, that the school needed to bolster the data analysis aspect of Collaborative Inquiry, limit the scope of collaborative work, and endeavor to retain effective teachers so that teams had continuity and could more effectively engage veteran teachers in collaborative work. Using these recommendations would allow Lennox Charter High School to improve professional collaboration, engender meaningful teacher learning, and support equitable student achievement.

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