Capstone/Dissertation Title

Peer Observation as a Professional Development Tool for Educators

Term

Summer 8-15-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Suzanne McCurdy

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Jonna Meidal

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Ann Stevenson

Abstract

This study seeks to determine the impact of peer observation on teachers’ patterns of collaboration and innovation. It documents the experience of five teachers at a bilingual primary school in Mexico City who undertook a peer observation pilot project. Key influences include the author’s 4th grade co­teacher, researchers on professional development such as Desimone and Borko, and international school teachers and administrators whom the author met at the Principal’s Training Center in Miami, Florida. The study follows a qualitative research paradigm, relying mostly on interview data. However, surveys, lesson observation forms, and social network map data are also used to provide a quantitative perspective on the experience. The study concludes the following: the project had a positive impact on teachers’ rate of innovation in the classroom; it also caused participants to collaborate more frequently.

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