Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Duane M. Covrig

Third Advisor

James Jeffery

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to describe the development and implementation of Data Teams™ in a Midwestern school district and to explore what influenced teachers to become effective team members. It analyzed the product and process of creating Data Teams™ who competently used data to make academic standards work by identifying power standards, analyzing data, setting goals, implementing research-based effective teaching strategies, and assessing student performance and adult behaviors that had a direct impact on student achievement.

Method. A qualitative case study design was used for this investigation as it explored the narratives of 10 elementary teachers on their life experiences, attitudes, and beliefs from serving on Data Teams™.

Results. In response to the first research question—What life experiences have helped to sculpt elementary teachers into effective Data Teams™?—the primary life experiences identified by the teachers were past experiences, collaboration, and relationships. In response to the second research question—What influenced individual members to become cooperative collaborators?—the primary themes in collaboration were a positive attitude, the perceived benefits of collaboration, and a collaborative mind-set. In response to the third research question—How did individual teacher experiences, attitudes, and beliefs impact the work of Data Teams™–the primary themes identified were roles and fidelity to the norms of collaboration, deep implementation of the model, and high standards.

Conclusion. Members of the Data Teams™ agreed that their experiences in collaboration prior to their participation in Data Teams™ allowed them to build relationships with teachers that are essential to effective collaboration. Additionally, they agreed that the development of a positive attitude towards collaboration, coupled with an understanding of the benefits associated with collaboration, helped to develop a collaborative mind-set. Furthermore, they agreed that developing and operating under norms of collaboration were essential to team success. Also, they agreed that deep implementation of the Data Team™ process was essential for student improvement. Finally, they agreed that it was important to set high standards and goals that were both realistic and achievable.

Subject Area

Group work in education, Elementary school teachers--Attitudes, Teams in the workplace.

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