MERN Forum Presentation id=345
MERN Forum # 21
Session: 41
Author: Juel Chouinard
Affiliation: McGill University
Title : How principal exchanges in an online community of practice ar e shaping conversations with teachers
Description : This presentation is the story of 12 English principals working in schools located in remote and rural regions of Québec, who participated over a 12-month period in developing an online community of practice (OCoP). They inquired and reflected into their practices of building leadership capacity among teachers. Principals exchanged experiences around framing conversations with teachers that focused on student success; shared timely and pertinent leadership resources; and asked information questions about projects and programs related to daily school life.

The principals conversed by exchanging emails in a listserv and using school email accounts, participated in a hot-topic synchronous online focus group, and received support from a facilitator in one-to-one telephone conversations about leadership practices. Increasingly, the principals inquired into their practices of talking with teachers and the support and constraints they experienced in this conversation process. Inquiry questions such as what is working, what do I want to change, and how will I do it guided their reflective thinking.

Two principal’s stories presented today exemplify the inquiry process. One principal in a remote region supported a teacher in developing a community-based recycling project; and a second principal in a rural area supported a small teacher team by building lateral capacity with an urban school for the purpose of exchanging classroom practises in using Smart boards. Their testimonies reflect the value of supportive conversations and exchanges in an OCoP where principals are examining their leadership practices to continue building teacher’s teaching capacities.

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