Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michelle McCraney


A professional learning community (PLC) is designed to increase pedagogical knowledge and encourage collaboration amongst teachers. Many schools are using a variety of PLCs to increase collaboration and improve teaching and learning. The study school implemented a PLC, but collaboration and effective coteaching practice have not improved. Guided by social constructivism and social cognitive learning theories, the goal of this research was to explore coteachers' perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs about the overall effectiveness of the PLC coteaching model to improve instructional strategies. A qualitative case study with semistructured interviews to collect data and a narrative analysis for reporting was utilized. The population was limited to 5 general and 4 special education teachers. A hand analysis method was used to identify and code recurring themes before using thick description to report the findings. The findings showed that the teachers perceived an ineffective PLC implementation, a lack of coteaching training and collaboration, and a lack of administrative support. Improvements in these areas are needed to boost the effectiveness of the coteaching model. The findings from this study led to a project consisting of a series of professional development workshops for coteachers and school leaders. The goal of the project is to eliminate barriers to coteaching practice and create an effective PLC. This study may bring about positive social change by providing insight into understanding how an effective PLC, administrative supportive, and meaningful professional development can enhance coteaching practice. This knowledge can provide school leaders with insight to make adaptations to coteaching practice that may lead to positive student learning outcomes.