Exploring Middle School Math Teachers' Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Collaborative Learning Teams within Professional Learning Communities




Rawding, Molly Rothermel

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of what makes a collaborative learning team (CLT) effective for novice and experienced teachers. Professional learning communities have emerged as one approach for job-embedded professional learning so that teachers have the opportunity to collaborate with the end goal of improving their teaching practices as well as promote continuous school improvement. To explore these issues, the research questions that guided this study included: How do CLTs influence middle school math teachers to explore the nature of the mathematics content and pedagogy? What are the perceptions of novice teachers in terms of effective components of their CLT? What are the perceptions of experienced teachers in terms of effective components of their CLT? How does teaching experience influence perception for effective CLTs? Qualitative data were collected through three interviews from four novice and three experienced middle school math teachers in two different middle schools in the mid-Atlantic. The school sites were selected because teachers participated in regularly scheduled CLT meeting.



Mathematics education, Education, Collaboratively learning team, Math teacher, Middle school, Professional learning community