Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Dawn Coffin

Second Advisor

Cheryl Sparks


Teacher collaboration has been embedded in teachers’ schedules across the country as many school leaders believe it improves student achievement. It is mandated within the school system wherein this study was conducted. However, the major emphasis is on student achievement with little to no emphasis on soft skills, which are desperately needed. Teachers need to be trained in fostering learning and on how to be empathetic, supportive, and culturally sensitive. Notwithstanding, if they do not believe collaboration is beneficial to them in the classroom and to their professional development and growth, it would not be an effective tool for student achievement. Students receive their foundational education at the primary grade level, the area of focus of this study. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ attitudes, experiences, and beliefs regarding the impact of primary grade level collaboration on professional development to strengthen instructional practice leading to higher student achievement. Phenomenological qualitative design was the methodology used. Instruments included Microsoft Forms, an interview and focus group protocol, and a survey. (See Appendices F, G, and H for survey and protocols). Data were collected from consent forms, surveys, interviews, and focus group sessions from nine primary teachers and analyzed using thematic analysis with the assistance of NVIVO software. (See Appendices A, B, C for consent forms). Seven themes emerged related to grade-level, group, and professional development collaborative sessions; planning; peer culture; teacher performance; and instructional practices. The participants agreed that student achievement was linked to professional growth and development; however, it did not emerge as a theme. It was concluded that the teachers believed grade-level collaboration is beneficial in the v teaching and learning process and professional development. Recommendations for further study included examining perceptions of other grade-level teachers on the topic.


It is our desire that the provided dissertation centered around Primary Teacher Collaborative Practices will be beneficial to the reader and assist in providing clarity and insight regarding teacher perceptions and the impact of grade level collaboration on teacher development and growth.