Nurturing the Seeds of Collective Efficacy: A Case Study of Professional Learning Integrating ELD, Math, and Collaborative Inquiry

This case study documents shifts in teachers’ perceptions of themselves and of their English learner students as they participated in a professional learning experience using collaborative inquiry in combination with specialized coaching specific to English Language Development and mathematics instruction. This integrated model of professional learning was based on recommendations across the literature for effective professional learning for teachers of English learners. The researcher used a mixed methods approach combining data from a pre and post Likert-type survey with data gathered from extensive teacher discourse recorded during group discussions and one-to-one interviews. The participants in this study consisted of 4 elementary classroom teachers and two specialist instructional coaches who collaborated to increase conceptual understanding and mathematical discourse for their English learner students. The results indicate positive shifts in teachers’ perceptions of their abilities to meet the needs of their English learner students. More importantly, the results indicate significant positive shifts in teachers’ perceptions of their English learner students as a result of participating in the professional learning experience. This study recommends the replication of this professional learning model across the content areas as a way to mediate the persistent access and achievement gap for English learner students