Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



This qualitative single case study in a rural start-up charter school in North Louisiana explored the impact that professional learning from Whole-Faculty Study Group sessions had on teachers’ understanding of the most significant contributions of the Standards for Mathematical Practice in preparation of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). The theoretical framework proposed that structured time for collaboration would enhance teachers’ understanding of the math practice standards. The literature indicated that collaborative job-embedded professional learning can lead to improvements in teachers’ knowledge and practice and that understanding the Standards for Mathematical Practice is key to the successful implementation of the content standards. According to the interview and questionnaire responses from the six teachers and leadership team members who participated in this study, along with an analysis of records and observation notes, participants’ collaborative professional learning in the study group sessions had a positive impact on their understanding of the value of collaboration and their perceived importance of the math practice standards. Themes about collaboration that emerged from the data analysis indicated that the purpose of collaboration was to empower teachers and establish common goals and that successful collaboration requires structures in place and supportive resources. Themes that emerged about the math practice standards were that the standards develop mathematically proficient students, deepen teachers’ mathematical knowledge, and change the teacher and student roles, with teachers assuming a more facilitative role and students taking a more active role in their own learning. The findings were supported by the literature, with the caveat that the scope of the study precluded following teachers as they applied their deeper understanding of the math practice standards to implementing the standards. Recommendations emphasize ensuring that CCSSM implementation leads to significant changes in teacher practice and student learning and that educators at all levels have the time and support they need work together collaboratively. Further research suggested includes expanding this study, more research on the impact of job-embedded teacher collaboration on teacher practice and student learning, and more research on implementing the CCSSM standards and assessments and assessing the results.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sulentic Dowell, Margaret-Mary

Included in

Education Commons