Date of Award

Spring 6-7-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor/Committee Member

John Bond, EdD

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Nyaradzo Mvududu, EdD

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Julie Antilla, EdD


situated learning, social capital, communities of practice, legitimate peripheral participation, social learning model



This research is an examination of a community of practice, how it generates teacher social capital, and the implications for school leadership. Grounded in situated learning theory and social capital theory, this case study of teachers in a small school analyzes how communities of practice can generate teacher social capital, and how school leaders can help foster its growth. Situated learning theory is creating meaning from the real activities of daily living, and its implications for educational research and application are extensive. Developed by anthropologist Jean Lave and computer scientist Etienne Wenger in the 1990s, situated learning theory is grounded in John Dewey’s pragmatism and Lev Vygotsky’s social development theory. Situated learning theory is associated with social capital, legitimate peripheral participation, and communities of practice, and has fueled research and organizational and educational innovation for almost 30 years.

Keywords: Situated learning, social capital, communities of learning, legitimate peripheral participation, social learning model