Sara Ewell, David Szabla
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department or Academic Unit
College of Professional Studies, Department of Education
Adult Learning, Collaboration, Collegiality, Leadership and Organization, Peer Observation, Professional Development
De-contextualized professional development is the common route taken by school districts to addresses pedagogical skills and address change within an educational organization. Research suggests that the current process of professional development activities is limited if not ineffective. Research shows that another model of professional development may serve teachers better through collaboration and contextual learning mediated through peer observations. This action research study will examine the potential of peer observations as a collaborative, collegial, and embedded process to professional learning for middle school teachers.
A qualitative design is utilized to capture the experiences of eight teachers as they participate in a cycle of peer observations.Data collection techniques include:
a) pre peer observation cycle interviews,
b) teachers’ pre- peer-observation form,
c) a learning journal,
d) a modified electronic post observation Strengths and Insights assessment form
(Beyerlein, Holmes, & Apple, 2007) document),
e) a post peer observation cycle interview, and
f) a researcher’s log to collect field notes and capture perceptions and comments throughout the process.
Information collected using these tools is reviewed and analyzed to answer whether peer observations created collegiality and collaboration amongst a group of middle school teachers engaged in peer observation supported by an instructional facilitator, as well as identify the benefits and challenges of the process for professional learning.
Linda J. Hirsch
Hirsch, Linda J., "Utilizing peer observation as a professional development tool" (2011). Education Doctoral Theses. Paper 22. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002427
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