Date of Award

Spring 2013

Access Restriction

Campus Access only dissertations

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

English

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Franca Dell'Olio, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Emilio Pack, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Refugio Rodriguez, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the essential elements of a community of practice intended to increase communication and collaboration between traditional public and charter school leaders. Members of the Los Angeles Cohort of the School Leaders Network participated in this study.

This case study triangulated observation, interview, and document review data to identify the factors that were most beneficial to this particular community of practice. Drawing on the research of communities of practice, constructivism, and leadership theory, these factors were articulated into five domains with the hope that, with further research, this framework could influence the creation of additional communities of practice between traditional public and charter school leaders.

This framework, including indicators and action steps to aid in creating a community of practice, identified five key factors: knowledge, relationships, authenticity, constructivism, and leadership. The convergence of these five domains pointed to two key take-aways: Communities of practice must create a risk-free environment in which sharing can occur so that participants can use storytelling as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas. Essential in creating this environment is the influence of a skilled facilitator who can drive these conversations. Ultimately, in sharing stories and building community, these communities of practice are meant to further the cause of a socially just education for all students regardless of the type of schools they attend.

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