Date of Award

5-2017

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership: M.S.

Department

Educational Administration and Higher Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Frances Kayona

Second Advisor

John Eller

Third Advisor

Jerry Wellik

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Peer Observation

Abstract

This study examined teacher perceptions of the effectiveness of a newly implemented peer observation program in a central Minnesota High School. The two research questions for this study were: (1) To what extent do teachers perceive the overall effectiveness of participating in a peer observation process? and (2) To what extent do teachers perceive the overall quality of their professional interactions, communications, feedback, or discussions [with or from or by] peers as a result of participating in this process? A mixed-methods approach was used to gather data in the form of survey and interview responses. A 28-item questionnaire was developed, consisting of a demographic item concerning the roles held in peer observation, 24 Likert-scale items, and three optional open-ended items. An interview protocol was developed to gather description of the teachers’ perception. The population of approximately 100 teachers at this high school were surveyed using the questionnaire. Five Interview participants were selected using criterion sampling techniques. The data for this study was collected during the spring of the 2015-2016 school year. At the time of the study, the peer observation program was in its first year of implementation.

The survey results were analyzed using basic descriptive statistics and the interview responses were coded using thematic analysis to help answer the research questions. The results from the survey and interviews indicate that the peer observation process is an effective form of professional development. In addition, participants indicate that the professional interactions and collaborative conversation have improved from taking part in the peer observation process. The participants noted the benefits of taking part in peer observation were the opportunity to critically reflect, the increased self-awareness of their teaching practice, and collaborating with their peers. The main challenge for teachers was the additional time needed to take part in the process.

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