A Study of the Collaboration Between School And University Faculties In A Professional Development Academy
Volk Burgess, Susan Lizrene
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The purpose of this study was to examine the events, processes, perceptions and changes that occurred as an elementary school faculty and a university faculty collaborated in a partnership formed by the creation of a Professional Development Academy (PDA). The study described how an elementary school faculty and a university faculty collaborated as they implemented a PDA. Research questions were: (1) What contributing factors led to the school and university facultiesÆ Â collaboration during the first three years of the pilot PDA, 1993-1996? (2) How did the school and university faculties collaborate for change during the first three years of the pilot PDA? (3) As a result of collaboration between the school and university faculties during the first three years of the pilot PDA, what changes occurred at the school and university? A descriptive case study approach was used to explore behaviors within these groups during the three pilot years of the PDA. The study included interviews, and a review of documents and artifacts. Four classroom teachers were randomly selected from the elementary school, four professors were selected from the university and two administrators: one from the school and one from the university, were interviewed. Responses from the interviewees were initially categorized into KaganÆ Âs (1991) six categories of collaboration and into three sections: before the PDA began, during the three years of the PDA, and reflections at the end of the three pilot years of the PDA. KaganÆ Âs categories for collaboration are: formation, conceptualization, development, implementation, evaluation, and termination/reformation stages. Documentation from the participants and PDA files were analyzed. Six factors were found to contribute to collaboration between faculties: a wish to know the other colleagues personally; maintenance of Æ Â±weÆ Âre in this togetherÆ Â° attitude; willingness to accept additional responsibilities; investment in making the PDA work; discovery of opportunities for leadership and input; and synergy between coordinators and administrators. There was evidence that collaboration occurred because of a welcoming and supportive climate; open communication; active involvement by both faculties; validation of teachers and professors; and support for goals and recommendations.
- Doctoral Dissertations