Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jonathan Becker


The purpose of this case study was to explore how a group of principals from diverse backgrounds and different locations create and perpetuate a virtual community of practice. This investigation is a case study of Connected Principals, a group that has come together to create a regular blog on significant issues within education and the principalship. In addition, this group regularly disseminates pertinent information on Twitter via a hash tag. The study includes a content analysis of the blogs posted by Connected Principals as well as social network analysis of the group’s Twitter network and of the key players within the Twitter network. In addition, the investigation includes interviews with six of the key blog and Twitter contributors in order to triangulate the information gleaned from the other analyses. The results of the study provide a thorough description of Connected Principals. While the study set out with the framework of a community of practice, the findings led to the idea that what was actually created by this group is an affinity space. In addition, the results give indication that the members of the group generate social capital within their field. Overall, the study contributes to the literature by providing an in-depth look at a relatively new field in education.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012