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ERIC Number: ED563562
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 200
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-5689-0
School Leaders and Networks: Understanding Principal Peer Dialogue as a Resource for Professional Learning
Farag-Davis, S. Ayesha
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Lesley University
Because their role is highly complex, school principals require ongoing professional learning to lead effectively and respond to the challenges inherent to school leadership. Networking among principals is frequently identified as a valuable source of professional learning for school leaders. Nevertheless, existing literature applies the term to a wide variety of principal relationships and affiliations, and there is little research that examines networking among principals and its effects upon their skills, knowledge, and convictions. This qualitative study, based on phenomenological research methods, investigates how networking promotes experienced principals' professional growth through an exploration of what principals report about the nature, characteristics, and benefits of peer dialogue. Participants identified through purposeful selection included twenty-one practicing elementary or middle school principals from Maine and Massachusetts with at least five years experience who indicated that dialogue with role-alike peers is useful to them in their practice. Data were collected through focus group sessions, individual interviews, participant responses to a writing prompt, and work artifacts. Participants in this study report that their practice is most influenced through interactions with peers characterized by high levels of trust. Findings indicate that peer learning networks provide instructive and affective support through dialogue that promotes principals' development within three domains: leadership inventory, leadership judgment, and leadership integrity. Moreover, while peer learning networks can be a resource for principals' learning, the manner in which they engage in dialogue may have consequences for whether they experience transformative learning that makes them more able to address adaptive challenges in their schools. Principals' accounts suggest that superintendents are well situated to create conditions principals need to develop their skills, knowledge, and attitudes to effectively lead. Additional research is recommended to further explore peer dialogue processes as well as the factors that enhance or impede the development of school leaders' adaptive capacity through participation in peer learning networks. [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; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine; Massachusetts