Date of Award



© 2017 Carolyn Clark

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Grania Holman

Second Advisor

Corinna Crafton

Third Advisor

Cara Kenney


The practice of peer observation has recently gained attention as educational and political leaders examine teacher effectiveness. Prior research studies about peer observation were mostly conducted in secondary universities or in schools where this practice was voluntary. Since this practice has recently become mandated, this qualitative case study examined how teachers perceived the experience of informal peer observation in relation to their professional growth. The study was conducted in a Pre-K-8 public school for three months while teachers participated in informal peer observation rounds. When teachers completed their informal peer observation, they filled out the peer observation documentation forms and answered questions about their experience either in a questionnaire or through an online focus group discussion. The collected data were coded, analyzed, and organized in relation to the research questions. Six themes emerged from the data: choice, collaboration, time, autonomy, observational learning, and professional growth. This research revealed that teachers felt that informal peer observation had a positive impact on their professional growth. As school leaders continue to examine teacher effectiveness, researchers studying professional development are listening more carefully to teachers’ perspective of this practice. This study offers recommendations for school leaders and educators involved with informal peer observation.


Ed.D. Dissertation