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ERIC Number: ED559976
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 183
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-3351-4
Expanding the Circle: A Study on the Use of Distributed Leadership to Improve Community Engagement at Three Elementary Schools
Miller, Brandon Marshall
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
School and learning have historically been a community endeavor and the recent focus on community schools and neighborhood focused schooling illuminate the possibilities of these endeavors. Distributed leadership, while a relatively newer educational concept, has also gained popularity in recent years focusing on shifting focus from the lone ranger model of leadership. When the theory of distributed leadership is combined with the concept of community schools, a new way of looking at the possibilities of community engagement emerges. Little research has been done about the distributed leadership and community schools working in tandem. This study describes how Community Schools and distributed leadership affect the engagement of schools with their communities. The study follows the implementation of an American Federation of Teachers Innovation Grant in five West Philadelphia Schools as they implement and develop distributed leadership teams and processes to focus on the schools engagement with its local community. The study employs qualitative methods including participant observation, extensive document review and analysis, interviews, and focus groups. The researcher was participant observer during meetings of the distributed leadership teams as well as other activities organized by that body. A large body of documents including written correspondences, meeting minutes, and grant reports were analyzed. Members of the distributed leadership teams, involved parents and community members, school staff, and other pertinent parties were interviewed. Focus groups of parents and staff were conducted. A case-by-case analysis was conducted followed by a cross-case analysis. This study investigates the utilization of a distributive leadership model to implement a community schools initiative across three schools in West Philadelphia and reflects on the process and outcomes of that three-year implementation. This study serves primarily as a formative evaluation of the implementation of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) Innovation Fund Grant in West Philadelphia, but also as basic research to contribute to fundamental knowledge and theory about community schools and distributive leadership. The research question addressed in this dissertation is what happens when distributed leadership is employed within five West Philadelphia schools? More specifically, how does the employment of distributed leadership at those schools encourage and enhance the schools engagement with community partners; what role does school administration and leadership play in the distributive leadership process; and how does a distributive leadership opportunity inform the role of the teachers in the schools? [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania