Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


This action research investigation studies the facilitation of a collaborative professional development workshop for teachers, "Flexible Grouping Strategies for Organization of Differentiated ELD Instruction." The premises of the professional development practice under study were that as professional educators, teachers have the professional judgment, expertise and experience to improve instruction, that teachers can build new knowledge on the foundation of expertise and experience they possess, and that through dialogue and collaboration teachers can articulate and augment their collective knowledge and skills. The author seeks to understand how the facilitator can best include expert input and structure interactions in the workshop to reach goals of democratic and productive collaboration among the teacher participants. Teacher participant perspectives, in the forms of written evaluations and oral interviews, and the products of the collaborative work that took place in the sessions were collected and analyzed. The study concluded that the expert input provided by the facilitator sets motivation and objectives and provides a framework for collaborative work. Regarding structuring of interactions, the study found most effective a series of groupings and tasks that offered opportunities to process ideas in a variety of ways with multiple collaborators, and which built gradually from sharing prior knowledge to co-construction of new concepts.


Thesis (M.A.) School of Education