Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Despite being expected by administrators to use cooperative learning regularly and effectively in their instructional practices, less than one third of high school teachers in the targeted U.S. public school district implemented the practices above a proficient level, according to district data. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the motivation, strategies, and practices of a representative group of teachers at the high school who were rated highly effective on their 2016-2017 annual summative evaluation in cooperative learning. The research questions concerned the motivation of these teachers to include cooperative learning practices in their classrooms. Two additional research questions focused on the teachers' planning, implementation, and assessment of students and the challenges they encounter while employing cooperative learning practices. The participants included 10 teachers rated highly effective who were selected through homogeneous, purposeful sampling. Qualitative data were collected through semistructured interviews and document reviews of lesson plans and resources. Coding and thematic analysis were used to examine and report that data. Participants revealed concerns regarding the time involved in planning and implementing cooperative learning along with the difficulties of group composition and student assessment during the process. Based on the study results, a professional development series was designed to provide additional training and to establish a district wide definition of cooperative learning. This project study may facilitate positive social change by encouraging and supporting teachers as they better prepare students to overcome the challenges of collaboration and teamwork.