Professional learning environments and professional development practices among educators throughout the United States have experienced a great deal of attention in the need for changes toward collaborative learning models and professional learning opportunities that engage in hands-on work focused on student learning and the growth of teachers’ practice to help students develop their ability to think critically. This qualitative phenomenological study explored middle and high school teachers’ and administrators’ previous professional learning experiences through the practice of School-Based Instructional Rounds and Student Shadowing. The research focused on exploring the impact, if any, on transforming teaching strategies that provide deeper learning experiences for students in college and career readiness. A transformative framework under the theory of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory and Knowles’s adult learning theory using a constructivist paradigm and grounded theory approach informed the exploration of worldviews from the data of this research study. The participants who took part in School-Based Instructional Rounds included 8 high school and middle teachers and administrators in 3 school districts representing 4 Southern California schools. In-person interviews support the research findings in this study. The participants represented in the Shadow a Student Challenge consisted of school leaders and a teacher who work in public and private middle and high school districts in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Rhode Island. Document analysis and personal interviews support the research findings of this study. Professional learning experiences of School-Based Instructional Rounds and Student Shadowing were explored within the lived experiences of teachers and administrators professional learning practices. Perceptions of deeper learning opportunities in middle and high school classrooms were examined, connecting professional development and the transformation of deeper learning instructional practices. This study will contribute to the body of literature on the value of implementing School-Based Instructional Rounds and the Shadow a Student Challenge as hands-on professional learning practices for teachers and administrators toward supporting the adoption of engaging, meaningful, and relevant strategies for 21st century learning skills in middle and high school classrooms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Teachers -- Training of -- Case studies; School administrators -- Training of; Transformative learning

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Jago, Martine;