Superintendent leadership for developing school districts as learning communities
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Learning community has to do with personal and professional commitments. Learning community is evidenced in the overall quality of organizational life and with how people feel about each other and about their work. Furthermore, learning community provides the culture and the environment that encourages people to fully maximize their skills and talents, giving them the freedom to explore new ideas and new solutions which ultimately lead to significant and sustainable improvements in student learning and in the attainment of organizational goals. Leadership is critical in establishing the culture, the structures, and the expectations for the creation of learning community. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the leadership perspectives and behaviors of superintendents in developing learning communities. This was a multiple case study of two superintendents of large, complex educational organizations who are working to create learning communities. A cross case analysis was conducted to establish prevalent themes common to each of the cases. Data were collected through the use of interviews, document analysis, and observation. This study contributes to the field of educational administration by identifying the critical elements of superintendent leadership necessary to create organizations that can be characterized as learning communities. In addition, implications for research and practice were identified.