Access and use of meaningful research through transformational leadership: A collective-case study of public school principals
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Purpose: The transformational leader through contextual applications of learning influences student achievement. This study used the framework of transformational leadership (Leithwood, 2003) to examine principal access to research-based learning supporting leadership growth. Methodology: In a collective-case study, interviews with thirty public school principals revealed current leadership continuous learning experiences and the perceived availability of scholarly research. Using grounded theory analysis, the data findings evolved through a symbolic interactionist orientation. Findings: Four significant themes emerged: urgency, insecurity, community, and commitment. Principals engaged continuous learning, but demonstrated a desire for guidance toward identifying and accessing relevant quality research. Contrary to the more modernist principal assessment model, multiple paradigms of learning and application surfaced as essential to current principal access. Implications: Research informs practice when available in time efficient and contextually relevant formats. Tangible recommendations including continuous learning models and streamlined research dissemination offer guidance for the broader educational community to collaboratively support varied access formats for leadership growth.