Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Marks-Johns, LaMesa

Committee Member

Yarbrough, Rachel

Author's Keywords

principal supervisor; community of practice; professional learning; principal; evaluator; action research


Principal supervisor professional learning is an area of educational professionalism that is under-researched and under-developed (Casserly et al., 2013). Because K-12 students deserve to have the best leaders possible impacting their school experience, K-12 principal supervisors need professional learning that strengthens their ability to coach and evaluate K-12 principals (Waters & Marzano, 2006). This study utilized a principal supervisor community of practice as a form of role-specific professional learning. Semi-structured interviews occurring before and after four community of practice convenings along with transcripts from the convenings were used to answer questions that explored principal supervisors’ characterization of a community of practice, themes that emerged from a principal supervisor community of practice, and principal supervisors’ perception of the effect of a community of practice on their work. Using descriptive coding and in vivo coding (Saldaña, 2013), the study found that a community of practice is a practical and appropriate form of role-specific professional learning for principal supervisors. The study also produced recommendations for school districts seeking to improve principal supervisor professional learning and for individuals or groups organizing communities of practice.