Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Tricia Browne-Ferrigno


Essential transformations within a school culture that ensure organizational learning take place at the individual, group, and organizational levels. With the recent implementation of the Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, Kentucky teachers have experienced change in their organization, but may have not yet changed their professional practice. This recently revised framework for teacher evaluation requires teachers to reflect on their practice, create professional growth plans, seek opportunities for professional development, set goals for student academic growth, analyze student progress, and participate in observations conducted by a peer and their principal. The framework for teachers centers on the belief that teachers must constantly seek to further develop their skills, and ongoing collaborative professional learning has been found to help teachers improve their practice, and in turn, to also improve student learning.

For nearly a decade, Maplewood Elementary School in Lexington, Kentucky, has been recognized as being a high-performing school based on state accountability test scores, but evidence of achievement gaps remains. While the diverse student body includes students that are highly gifted there are also 28.5% who have not reached reading proficiency, and 32.2% have not reached mathematics proficiency. Maplewood’s combined reading and mathematics proficiency target was 73.6%, yet only 69.7% of Maplewood students scored at least a proficient for the combined reading and mathematics score for 2016. When the scores of gifted students are removed from the schoolwide scores, approximately only one-third of Maplewood’s non-gifted students scored in the range of Proficient or Distinguished for reading or mathematics. Aligned with the school district goals, the school community’s shared goal includes reducing the number of students scoring at the Novice level in reading on the state assessment tests by 50% by 2020.

School principals must not only facilitate teacher professional growth and effectiveness, but they must also understand the supportive practices they must implement to foster that growth. The focus of this action research study is to understand what practices can enhance the culture of professional learning among teachers in a high performing school.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)