A descriptive study of collaboration: Teacher-researchers and cross-age students writing to learn
AuthorPrassas, Lea, 1960-
AdvisorAnders, Patricia L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the benefits of collaboration while cross-age students and teachers conducted research. The cross-age collaboration investigated ways that students assist each other with writing and concept development as they researched a topic. The collaborative teacher research explored ways that classroom teachers assist each other with their professional development while they are examining ways to assist their students. This was a participant-observational study which took place over a semester. The cross-age students conducted research on teacher selected topics. The teachers held meetings to share their questions, observations, reflections and plans regarding the cross-age collaboration. Data sources included student surveys, student interviews, teachers' reflective journals, and transcriptions of teachers' meetings. The methods of analysis were domain analysis and constant comparison. The findings suggested that students assisted each other with writing and concept development when provided the opportunity to collaborate. They used language for constructing and reconstructing knowledge as they researched their topics. As they used language for learning, they also assisted each other with language development by using scaffolding strategies. A major finding in this study is that the students and teachers place high value on the interpersonal relationship that develops through the collaborative process. They found that encouragement, listening to one another, and respecting each other's ideas were foundational for igniting the collaborative process. Findings also suggested that the collaborative process gave the classroom teachers opportunities to assist each other with professional development. The teachers were able to assist each other by sharing their beliefs and knowledge about teaching and learning. Sharing beliefs about teaching and learning caused harmony in planning, as well as tensions. Variances in belief systems caused tensions which led to rich discussions about professional knowledge. The teachers reconstructed their knowledge through collaborative research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture