Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

James Therrell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Genelle Morris, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Jacqueline Lookabaugh, Ed.D.


This study examines the perceptions of principals and their respective teachers regarding the principals’ abilities to create a collaborative environment at the elementary level. Isolation of teachers has been a historical practice in most American schools and contributed to a lack of growth among practitioners. Increasing collaboration and ending isolation is one way to improve our country’s educational system for students and teachers. The methodology applied in this study employed a qualitative multiple case study design which provided an in-depth perspective of three elementary school principals and staff respective staff. The major findings of the data collected from interviews, focus groups and observations revealed leaders who possess abilities and support systems including: (a) servant oriented moral compass, (b) developing and maintaining professional relationships, (c) support roles, (d) structured periodic collaborative time, and (e) comprehensive communication are most able to create a collaborative environment. This study yielded important results which could be utilized to further research which would provide valuable insight for practitioners regarding how effective principals’ creation of collaborative teams were at ending teacher isolation.

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