Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dorsch, Nina G.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Elementary school teachers--Illinois--Attitudes--Case studies; Teams in the workplace--Illinois--Case studies


This study examines an upper elementary team of teachers in an elementary building that has functioned for over 20 years. The study focuses on the dynamics of' how the team has maintained its longevity and also the perceptions of those associated with the team on student progress. This descriptive case study analyzes the team from the perspective of the teachers who taught in the team and the two building administrators who worked with the team. The study adds to the knowledge of building collaborative cultures in schools by its in-depth look at this unique team. A qualitative paradigm was used for the study. The data were analyzed through the use of a coding categories structure. The literature review was incorporated into the findings. The findings revealed several emergent themes. Among these are the learning community, a collaborative culture, perceptions on student growth, care, and professional development. The study uses triangulation for credibility and an audit trail for dependability. Conclusions and implications for practice are presented. Many of the conclusions reflect a move away from the isolated classroom into a new era of forming collaborative structures and, most importantly, a learning community. Teachers in the study reflect on ways they collaborate through their common planning times, parent conferencing, and observing each other teach. The learning community philosophy was indicated in the study by the purpose and vision shared by all team members and the willingness to listen and incorporate ideas into their own teaching. The study has implications for professional development programs for teachers, administrative training courses, and teacher preparation programs at the college level. Another implication of the study concerns the construction of new facilities and the importance of building flexibility into school structures. Overall, the study can form a guide for school improvement and student growth.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [170]-175).


viii, 187 pages




Northern Illinois University

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