Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Elizabeth F. Warren


The literature shows that collaboration is a critical part of a professional learning community and leads to higher student achievement. However, there is limited research on what collaboration actually looks like in a school setting. The purpose of this study was to examine the beliefs and strategies of elementary teachers and elementary administrators of three high achieving elementary schools utilizing a weekly common planning period for collaboration. Research questions for the study inquired strategies utilized by classroom teachers and principals to capture specific actions and beliefs regarding collaboration to increase student achievement. A phenomenological qualitative method was utilized through interviewing 9 elementary teachers and 3 elementary principals to capture the essence of the phenomenon of collaboration. Coding was completed and data analysis with the assistance of AtlasTi Results showed that teachers build capacity through dialogue that revolved around data analysis, strategies to teach lessons, and creating common assessments. Principals noted data analysis and shared leadership as to leading to increased student performance. Implications for social change is for universities and districts by providing effective strategies to implement effective teacher collaboration leading to higher student academic achievement and greater opportunities for students in a global economy.