Thesis Title

Change in Educational Policy and Practice Through Online Communities of Practice

Graduation Date

Spring 2009

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madelienne Peters, EdD


The internet continues to provide new and interesting solutions to age-old problems; this paper explores how education could benefit from online solutions. The history of public education in the U.S. is fractured at best, based on a system reliant on state and local control. As new legislation came into place to meet the needs of civil rights laws, and equal rights protection, the federal government has become increasingly involved leading to the national legislation “No Child Left Behind.” Despite the increased standards and federal involvement, schools still suffer from a multitude of problems including poor performance on international assessments, achievement gaps between males and females, income groups and ethnic groups, and non-representative leadership in education. Using the theory of Emergence by Margaret Wheatley, I argue that online Communities of Practice can be used to create large-scale, grassroots change in an effort to solve many of our current problems in education.

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