The purpose of this study was to research ways for teachers to improve their practice applying strategies that increase collaboration in the classroom and support students to be leaders of their learning. The study focused on a number of specific techniques teachers can apply in their classrooms to create positive interdependence among their students, create purposeful collaborative classrooms, and build environments that promote self-directed learning. In addition, the research also addressed how educators can build learning tasks for their students that ensure complexity and interaction, which eventually leads to productive collaboration. There is a recognized discrepancy between the identified, proven, effective teaching strategies and the strategies that are actually employed in the classroom. Some questions I considered as to why teachers do not implement more effective teaching strategies included: · Are teachers not aware of the best teaching practices to promote self-directed learning? · Do teachers not know how to implement best teaching practices to ensure productive collaboration? · Are teachers hesitant to utilize practices that they perceive release control over their classrooms? · Additional questions considered included: · How does creating positive interdependence for our students result in better learning? · How does effective productive collaboration between students lead to more engagement in the classroom? · What are some practical strategies that teachers implement in their classrooms that actually work?