Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Nathan A. Long

Abstract

Researchers have connected student achievement to teacher collaboration; however, there is a paucity of studies conducted on how teachers use identified advantages and disadvantages of cross grade level collaboration to improve collegial interactions to achieve better student performance, professional development, teacher effectiveness, and job satisfaction. The purpose of this case study was to investigate how rural southeast Georgia elementary school teachers use identified advantages and disadvantages of cross grade level collaboration to improve collegial interactions. The theory of collegial coaching provided the conceptual framework for this study. The research questions focused on improving teacher effectiveness and student learning via collaborative dialogue. Data were collected via interviews, observations, and archival records from 14 teachers and administrators (maximum variation used) and analyzed for overarching emergent and dominant themes, patterns, issues, topics, ideas, relationships, cases, cross-cases, and concepts. Hatch's typological analysis was employed to decipher the data. Ethnograph v6.0 and QDA Miner 4.0 were used to code the data for triangulation. Quality control and validation were achieved through triangulation and member-checking. The findings illustrated the merits of ongoing collaboration and effective collegial interaction for teaching and learning. They also highlighted the potential of meaningful discussion in achieving effective collegial interaction. This study can lead to positive social change by providing teachers, administrators, and collaboration facilitators 2 models that can be used as guides for planning quality collegial interaction opportunities and in justifying time to collaborate across grades.