Date of Award



© 2018 Michael T. Chase

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Second Advisor

Joel Lowsky

Third Advisor

Mark Wernikowski


This formative program evaluation examined the perceptions of school-based leaders in a peer dialogic group coaching and discussion program in a larger school district in Western Canada. The pilot program included 14 principals and vice-principals from 12 different elementary or high schools who participated in either a discussion or coaching format to support and develop leadership and communication skills in six biweekly meetings over three months. Qualitative inductive content analysis was used to code and theme the data that resulted from semi-structured interviews and anonymous online surveys. Four main themes emerged from the data, and these themes described key elements of the coaching and discussion program that participants found important to program success. The first themes is Setting the Stage, which alludes to preconditions participants identified as critical to program success. The second is Shared Presence, which described the ways participants showed up to coaching or group discussions and how individuals contributed to group development. The third is Living the Learning, which explores the ways that participants perceived the structures that framed growth and support and how people participated in those structures. The fourth is The Value of Partnership, which describes the effects of the program for both individuals and the school district. This study found that participants perceived numerous elements that deserve careful consideration for program improvement or continuation. The emerging model for the program was an interconnected web of elements, each deserving of attention and important to program success. Whereas the nature of a formative assessment does not provide generalizability or transferability, this study contends that leadership program developers could benefit from a deep knowledge of program elements and an open discussion of expectations and structures going into a school-based administrator leadership and communication development and support program. Key elements include the use of a robust coaching model, having an expert resource, making the program optional and ensuring that the meetings are participant-driven.


Ed.D. Dissertation