In this study, we investigate two principals’ learning in a progressive district in the southern United States. Both principals talked about ‘ownership’ and ‘continuous progress'as key to education reform, yet their words carried different meanings for learning. Principals’ use of reform terminology was embedded within two distinctly different communities of principal's practice -- Total Quality Management and ‘whole language’. We conclude by discussing ways to bridge such gaps in understanding among principals and communities by creating opportunities for learning and discourse. Educational administrators might thereby talk about and explore the different nuances of meaning they bring to their practice.
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