Building Educational Leaders’ Capacity in a Community of Practice
Keywords:collaboration, community of practice, professional learning, rural school leaders, self-efficacy
This qualitative study examined rural educational leaders’ perceptions of the outcomes of the 2019 Leadership Camps (LCs). This capacity-building opportunity helped educational leaders meet as a community of practice (CoP) where participants’ interactions contributed to learning with and from one another, reducing perceived isolation and increasing self-efficacy. We analyzed data collected from 242 participants’ responses using an open, axial, and selective coding process. With this sample, 52.5% of participants were rural educational leaders. Overall, educational leaders most often appreciated interacting, networking, and collaborating with peers. Additionally, educational leaders highlighted the importance of the in-depth understanding and application of the Leadership Standards and reflective practices. We claim that this approach to professional development within a CoP offers rural educational leaders various work-related growth opportunities, including fostering collaboration, promoting professional conversations, and creating a community for reduced isolation, which will likely enhance their job performance and satisfaction.
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