Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Continuous workforce training programs are important for business productivity. Traditional professional development practices (those that make teachers passive consumers of knowledge) may no longer satisfy the need for teachers' professional growth and for student achievement as measured by test scores. The purpose of this quantitative, nonexperimental study was to consider the importance of professional development and collegiality (teacher collaboration) on student achievement. This study was based on Piaget's constructivism. The research question asked whether teachers thought collegial professional development and management's support helped teachers improve student achievement based upon the type of professional development (PD) employed at their schools. The Standards Assessment Inventory (SAI) was used to gather data from a convenience sample of 68 charter school teachers in metropolitan New Jersey. A t test used to analyze SAI differences across groups that either received generic PD delivered by an external service or those who received PD that was internally designed to the specific needs of their schools. Results were used to document that charter school teachers reported frequent use of all 11 SAI criteria at their schools, and the internally designed PD group reported significantly more types, diversity and research-based PD than those receiving generic programs. The recommendation is that administrators allow teachers to practice peer coaching and observe colleagues who implement effective teaching strategies in their classrooms rather than endorsing specific professional development methods. Implications for social change include improving student achievement through the collaborative practice of teachers, and assisting students to realize their full potential.