Date of Award

12-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves

Second Advisor

Dr. Sue Poppink

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Lemons

Abstract

Instructional rounds are an emerging network structure with processes and protocols designed to develop superintendents’ knowledge and skills in leading large-scale improvement, to enable superintendents to build an infrastructure that supports the work of improvement, to assist superintendents in distributing leadership throughout their district, and to develop a cadre of educational leaders focused on developing their practice (Rallis, Tedder, Lachman, & Elmore, 2006). In a platform-learning model, learning in a superintendents’ network can be viewed as occurring both individually and collectively on an external platform outside each individual school district (Schulz & Geithner, 2010). In this phenomenological study, I explored and described the experience of participating in an instructional rounds network from the perspective of district superintendents. Specifically, I examined how individual superintendents experienced their work at the platform level, constructed new meanings and understandings at this level, and transferred those new meanings and understandings into action at the operational level in their local districts.

Instructional rounds are an emerging network structure with processes and protocols designed to develop superintendents’ knowledge and skills in leading large-scale improvement, to enable superintendents to build an infrastructure that supports the work of improvement, to assist superintendents in distributing leadership throughout their district, and to develop a cadre of educational leaders focused on developing their practice (Rallis, Tedder, Lachman, & Elmore, 2006). In a platform-learning model, learning in a superintendents’ network can be viewed as occurring both individually and collectively on an external platform outside each individual school district (Schulz & Geithner, 2010). In this phenomenological study, I explored and described the experience of participating in an instructional rounds network from the perspective of district superintendents. Specifically, I examined how individual superintendents experienced their work at the platform level, constructed new meanings and understandings at this level, and transferred those new meanings and understandings into action at the operational level in their local districts.

My research confirmed that superintendents found their platform-level work to be a collaborative and congenial work-embedded professional development experience. This study also added to the research on the transfer of superintendents’ new meanings and understandings into daily work practice in local districts. Of particular importance is the finding that superintendents reported seeing their organizations “with new eyes” as a result of observing students engaged in learning tasks in other districts compared to students engaged in learning tasks in their own districts.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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