Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Rintamaa

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary John O’Hair


Changing educational practice is widely understood to be a challenging endeavor, even for experienced school leaders. Much of the research on school networks focuses on building teacher capacity for improving student performance, but less evidence exists relating to increasing school leaders’ self-efficacy, specifically for the purpose of transformational school change. Building on the body of research of school networks and leaders’ self-efficacy, this mixed methods participatory action research study investigates how a network, facilitated by university faculty, impacts the leadership self-efficacy of high school principals for the purpose of leading transformational school change. Self- efficacy is both malleable and essential for school leaders to effect transformational school change in their buildings. This dissertation is a report of a mixed methods action research study that explores how professional learning experiences within a network of role-alike leaders can impact school principals’ self-efficacy in the areas of taking leadership actions, such as coaching and motivating others; leveraging available resources, including environmental and financial resources; and self-regulation, such as navigating and persisting through complex organizational challenges. Findings indicate positive transformational changes in leader self-efficacy following professional learning designed to impact the areas of leadership that are essential for transformational school change to take root. Findings also suggest that similar professional development activities may be implemented within networks to build educators’ sense of efficacy through participatory action research strategies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)