Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Barbara Strobert, Ed.D

Committee Member

Luvelle Brown, EdD

Committee Member

Matt Landahl, EdD


professional development, learning, innovation, Job-embedded, collaborative, observation


Teacher professional development is typically provided outside of the workplace, and is therefore disconnected to daily classroom practices. An alternative model of professional development is peer observation, which is contextualized through coaching and collaboration in the classroom. To date, research and investigation into the practice of peer observation is lacking. To fill that gap, this study examined the influence of peer observation on teacher practice, while identifying factors that were most beneficial and challenging about peer observation and its influence on workplace collegiality.

This study used qualitative methods and action research that allowed teachers to be part of the research process. Three teams of teachers participated in the study at a suburban high school. Each team consisted of two teachers, pairing an experienced teacher with an inexperienced teacher. Participants in the study reported how peer observation provided professional development in the context of their workplace. Teachers in each team shared the same instructional content area which, according to findings, made the peer observation process more relevant. Peer observation was also found to build and strengthen collegiality, facilitate an exchange of instructional techniques between teachers, and break down isolating instructional practices. Participants also appreciated receiving feedback from a colleague in a non-threatening way.