Date of Award

1-4-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Petroelje Stolle

Second Advisor

Nancy DeFrance

Third Advisor

Nancy Patterson

Fourth Advisor

Douglas Busman

Abstract

Since the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act was signed into law in 2001, literacy leaders and other school administrators have been challenged to increase student achievement to meet the law’s rigorous student proficiency goals and avoid penalties. To avoid the sanctions associated with not making adequate yearly progress (AYP), school and district leaders have been challenged to provide teachers with professional development that effectively equips teachers with the knowledge to meet the unique needs of each student in their classrooms. Because research has determined that high-quality professional development leads to higherquality teaching, and higher-quality teaching leads to increased student achievement, a better solution for professional development was needed to impact a greater number of teachers and inspire sustained changes in their classroom practice. As a result, research into alternative structures for job-embedded, collaborative professional development, such as classroom learning labs, gained traction. In order to describe the impact cross-district classroom learning labs have on secondary ELA teachers from small public schools, a qualitative study was conducted. Interview data was analyzed following a simplified multi-phase interview analysis process to identify, compare and contrast themes. The researcher found that engaging in the classroom learning lab was an overwhelmingly positive professional development experience that resulted in rich opportunities for peer learning, self-reflective learning, and transformational learning.

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