Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
A suburban school district in northwest Washington State has invested in a teacher-led, school-based model of instructional rounds to improve collaborative relationships among teachers and further teacher understanding of an instructional framework, but there is little formal evidence that instructional rounds is meeting its goals. The purpose of this study was to determine if instructional rounds is impacting teacher learning. The conceptual framework that grounded this study was Wenger's construct of communities of practice, a social theory of learning. The key research questions were focused on how participation in instructional rounds impacts teacher collaboration and learning of the instructional framework. To address the research questions, a qualitative evaluative case study was conducted. Data were used collected by using individual, face-to-face interviews with 6 different teachers and reviewing program document. Teachers selected for interviews had participated in instructional rounds during the past 3 consecutive years, participated as an observer and as a host, and at least 2 participants had experience as a facilitator. Transcribed interviews and documents were coded, followed by a search for patterns and themes throughout the data. Results showed improvement in personal and professional relationships among teachers as well as improvement of teacher learning. Results also showed that the quality of teacher learning was dependent upon contextual factors. The findings of the study were used to develop a program evaluation report for the school district. This report helped school district administrators, principals and teachers determine whether to stop, start, expand, or refine the instructional rounds model in their schools. This professional learning model has the potential to change the way teachers learn to positively impact student improvement.