Date Awarded

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola

Committee Member

Margaret E. Constantino

Committee Member

Leslie W. Grant


Although collaborative programs are used in a variety of educational contexts, during the implementation of new curricula, collaboration among teachers is essential since the difference between curriculum-in-theory and curriculum-in-use lies specifically with teachers’ adherence to the implemented curriculum rather than the curriculum that was written. When multiple teachers implement a curricular initiative and interact with the materials in different, teacher-specific ways, curriculum fidelity across teachers is a true concern, rendering an evaluation of the curricular program unstable. For this reason, consistent, embedded collaboration during the first year of new curricula has the potential to provide a vehicle for implementation alignment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a Community of Practice program designed to create a forum and system of collaboration among teachers during the first year of a new curricular program. The theory of action was that a Community of Practice program, if applied consistently throughout a new curriculum implementation year, would provide an effective collaboration vehicle for consistent and authentic implementation. Results from the Community of Practice observations, participant interviews and reflection journals indicated that the collaboration program was effective over time. Training and practice in collaborative protocols, along with careful selection of participants is critical in that the collaborative effort is reliant on the willingness of participants to emerge from their isolation so as to learn from and with their peers. as it develops, a Community of Practice approach can successfully drive decision-making, support fidelity of implementation, and provide continuous evaluation and discussion.




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