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How Working in a Community of Practice Can Support Students with Mental Health Needs

Graczyk, Kathleen R. (2018) How Working in a Community of Practice Can Support Students with Mental Health Needs. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Teachers and school staff need ongoing and focused professional development in order to best support their students (Shepard, et al., 1996). With that in mind, this inquiry explored what changes occurred when staff with the same passion to drive change worked together as a Community of Practice (CoP) on a large-scale, district-level initiative of identifying mental health supports for our students. The purpose of this inquiry was to construct a group of Student Services staff who were deeply imbedded in every building in the district and who have noted their interest in being a part of changing how we deliver mental health services. Utilizing a CoP model of professional development, the participants worked on goals and an action plan to implement during the next school year while at the same time, shaped the CoP format of professional development by allowing all participants to openly share ideas, examine the ideas of others critically but respectfully, and encourage equal leadership within the group so all voices could be heard (Perry, et al., 1999). The findings of this inquiry suggest that the predicted outcomes in regard to mental health supports, even when felt by most of the participants at the onset of the CoP sessions, were not the end result of the work done by the group as a whole. Thus, the process of working as a CoP lead to ideas that, without going through this process, may not have pursued for this district-wide initiative.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Graczyk, Kathleen R.krg52@pitt.edukrg52
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTananis,
Committee MemberFertman,
Committee MemberO'Black,
Date: 27 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 June 2018
Approval Date: 27 September 2018
Submission Date: 26 September 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 99
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Community of Practice Mental Health
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2018 14:23
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2018 14:23


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