section includes articles published from 2013 to the present.
Issues are listed in descending chronological order.
2015 (Issue 166–167)
2014 (Issues 151–165)
2013 (Issues 140–150)
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Seven
March 30, 2015
Understanding the Difficulties Hindering Inter-Agency Collaboration for Students With Special Needs in Quebec
Sylvie Tétreault, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Lausanne,
David Patenaude, Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et intégration sociale (CIRRIS), Dayna McLaughlin, Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), Andrew Freeman, Laval University, Hubert Gascon, UQAR, Pauline Beaupré, UQAR,
Monique Carrière, Laval University, and Pascale Marier Deschênes, CIRRIS
In 2003, the government of Quebec established the Agreement for the Complementarity of Services Between the Health and Social Services Network and the Education Network to define principles and obligations for inter-agency collaboration aimed at students with special needs and their families. This study documents the perspectives of organisation members from both networks. One hundred eighty-one participants were interviewed regarding their perceptions of inter-agency collaboration and related difficulties. Findings reveal that although network members are committed to collaborate in concordance with the Agreement, significant obstacles hinder an effective partnership, including an overall lack of coherence and gaps in the conditions required for an effective partnership, as well as insufficient awareness of the Agreement.
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Six
March 4, 2015
Reconstructing Careers, Shifting Realities: Understanding the Difficulties Facing Trailing Spouses in Higher Education
Erin J. Careless, Mount Saint Vincent University,
and Robert C. Mizzi, University of Manitoba
Faculty members in higher education who move to new cities or provinces often bring their families with them, and this can have both a positive and negative effect on the retention and job satisfaction of faculty. Educational policy makers can play a role in supporting faculty by supporting their trailing spouses, through policies informing careers, skills, and community engagement. This paper explores existing literature focusing on academic trailing spouses, conducts a content analysis of three Canadian universities that relates to support for trailing spouses, and suggests some recommendations. We pay particular attention to the use of inclusive language in these policies, as the changing nature of family systems requires further consideration of diverse needs and experiences.
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Issue One Hundred Sixty-Five
October 29, 2014
In Quest of Indigeneity, Quality, and Credibility in Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education in Canada: Problematic, Contexts, and Potential Ways Forward
Jerald Paquette, University of Western Ontario,
and Gerald Fallon, University of British Columbia
Learning involves conceptual frameworks embedded in worldviews and values. The overarching problematic of Aboriginal post-secondary education is complex and multifaceted. Normative and institutional forces as well as the credentialing and certification agenda of post-secondary education limit the degree to which Aboriginal education at any level can simply go its own way. To what degree and in what ways should Aboriginal post-secondary education differ from mainstream post-secondary education— and can it? The parity paradox (Paquette & Fallon, 2010, p. xii) prevails in post-secondary as in lower-level education. Education that purports to be meaningfully “Aboriginal” must fulfill two seemingly opposing purposes: provide education that is grounded in Aboriginal cultures but also provide a reasonable degree of parity with the content and quality of mainstream education. In short, Aboriginal post-secondary education is situated at the nexus of colliding epistemic universes of hugely unequal power. What can and should be Aboriginal in Aboriginal post-secondary education? What is the Canadian experience to date in that respect—with particular focus on the British Columbia case example—and what can be learned from it?
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Four
October 2, 2014
Declining Enrolment in Ontario: What Can History Tell Us and Where Do We Go From Here?
Sean Robertson, District School Board Ontario North East
and Northeastern Catholic District School Board
Declining student enrolment is a phenomenon being faced by many school authorities throughout Canada. This is particularly important for policymakers since governments provide the bulk of education funding on a per pupil basis. In jurisdictions across Ontario, where population demographics and economic factors negatively impact enrolment, the influence on education services can be dramatic. The purpose of this paper is to assess and to explore past and present policy responses to demographic change and to discuss ways policymakers can mitigate the adverse impacts of declining enrolment.
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Three
September 19, 2014
Determining the role of Language and Culture in First Nations Schools: A Comparison of the First Nations Education Act with the Policy of the Assembly of First Nations
Lindsay A. Morcom, Queen’s University
In this article, I explore the incongruence between the federal government’s proposed First Nations Education Act and the approach of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) regarding language and culture education. I also examine research concerning potential outcomes of their approaches to determine what would be most beneficial to learners. Language and culture inclusion in schools has been shown to impact significantly on academic and social outcomes for Aboriginal youth, and there are substantial financial and practical differences involved in creating and maintaining different types of language and culture programs. Therefore, this incongruence is of great practical importance for policy makers and education practitioners.
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Two
August 19, 2014
Children in Need of Protection: Reporting Policies in
Ontario School Boards
Samantha Shewchuk, Queen’s University
A clear, well defined policy can help empower school personnel to make informed decisions on how to handle cases of suspected child abuse. This article presents an analysis of (N = 64) school board child abuse reporting policies and procedures in Ontario and explored what training, resources, and support school boards state they will provide to help teachers recognize and report cases where a child may be in need of protection. The results showed that, while most boards had documentation, the amount of information provided by each school board varied greatly, with documents ranging from 1 page to 155 pages long. An analysis of the documents revealed a lack of clear expectations around training and support to assist teachers in reporting child abuse. Policy recommendations are proposed based on the results of the online search.
Issue One Hundred Sixty-One
August 6, 2014
Curbing Early-Career Teacher Attrition: A Pan-Canadian Document Analysis of Teacher Induction and Mentorship Programs
Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Lorraine Godden,
and Leigha Tregunna, Queen’s University
Over the past two decades, the phenomenon of teachers abandoning the profession has been noted internationally, and has increasingly caught the attention of policy makers and educational leaders. Despite this awareness, no pan-Canadian statistics or comprehensive reviews are available. This paper reports on the exploratory, pan-Canadian document analysis study that examined a) the organization and mandates of teacher induction programs in each jurisdiction; b) the role of mentorship as an aspect of teacher induction programs; and c) the mandated roles, duties, and responsibilities of school administrators in teacher induction and mentorship processes in each jurisdiction.
Issue One Hundred Sixty
July 21, 2014
Snakes or Ladders? An Examination of the Experiences of Two Teacher Leaders Returning to Classroom Teaching
Elizabeth Munroe, St. Francis Xavier University
Teachers who have held leadership roles at the school, district, or provincial level have the potential to contribute to student and school success when they return to classroom teaching. The contrasting experiences of two teacher leaders who returned voluntarily to classroom teaching are analyzed using Owens’s (2004) social constructivist theory of role definition. These case studies offer insight into a teacher career transition that has been considered infrequently in current research. As such, they may inform the decisions of district personnel, school administrators, and returning teacher leaders so that such transitions feel less like sliding down a snake and more like climbing a ladder.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Nine
June 16, 2014
Reforms to Funding Education in Four Canadian Provinces
Joseph Garcea, University of Saskatchewan, and Dustin Munroe, Institute on Governance
This article provides an analysis of the features, determinants, and effects of a series of reforms to funding the primary and secondary education systems in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba during the past two decades. The principal focus is on the reforms that have shifted the authority for setting property tax mill rates for education and responsibility for funding the education system between school boards and provincial governments. The article reveals that, whereas Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have followed the lead of six other provinces in centralizing such authority and responsibility in the provincial ministry of education, Manitoba has moved slightly in the opposite direction by reducing its role in setting property taxes for some classes of property and reducing its level of responsibility for funding the education system. The article concludes with some questions regarding potential future trends in relation to alignment of authority for funding education between provincial governments and school boards.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Eight
May 8, 2014
Shifting the Role: School-District Superintendents’ Experiences as They Build a Learning Community
John Dickson, District School Board of Niagara,
and Coral Mitchell, Brock University
This paper presents the findings of a qualitative action-research study that explored how one group of district-level school superintendents conceptualized their role as they built their own learning community. Data analysis yielded four elements that supported the participants’ efforts: (a) using a process as an entry point, (b) aligning various problems of practice, (c) providing supportive conditions, and (d) having a deep understanding of learning-community principles. From this experience, participants saw a need to shift the role of superintendent from a director of professional learning to a lead learner participating directly with teachers and principals.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Seven
April 28, 2014
Lean and the Learning Organization in Higher Education
David E. Francis, University of Saskatchewan
Canadian post-secondary institutions are seeking enhanced efficiencies due to ongoing funding shortfalls and expanding teaching, research, and service mandates. These institutions have considered or enacted Lean methodology based on results reported by public service and healthcare organizations worldwide. Lean requires a high level of organizational investment, including an investment in culture, to ensure success. This literature survey highlights linkages between Lean and organizational learning and presents recommendations about how institutions can plan and assess Lean improvement initiatives.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Six
April 17, 2014
Challenging Political Spectacle Through Grassroots
Sue Winton, York University, and Michael P. Evans, Miami University
Can simply talking about policy strengthen democracy? Drawing on data collected for case studies of one Canadian and two U.S. grassroots organizations, we demonstrate that taking part in policy dialogues hosted by grassroots organizations enables participants to gain greater clarity regarding policy issues, policy processes, and citizens’ perspectives and enhances some participants’ ability to take direct action in policy processes. These outcomes, and the opportunities for authentic engagement in policy processes offered by grassroots policy dialogues, can help challenge contemporary policy processes characterized as political spectacle, and, ultimately, enhance democracy in education. Implications of the findings for grassroots organizations and the field of community organizing are also discussed.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Five
April 10, 2014
Culturally Responsive Teaching in Yukon First Nation Settings:
What Does It Look Like and What Is Its Influence?
Brian Lewthwaite, James Cook University, Thomas Owen, Auckland University of Technology, Ashley Doiron, Tr’onde¨k Hwe¨ch’in First Nation, Robert Renaud, University of Manitoba,
and Barbara McMillan, University of Manitoba
This study presents a pedagogical framework to inform culturally responsive teaching in a Yukon First Nations community. The paper describes the community-based processes used to develop the framework, and presents accounts from teachers who have used the framework to inform their teaching. Preliminary indications of the adjusted teaching practices’ influence on student learning are presented, using qualitative data describing the changed teaching practices, and quantitative data specific to the changed practices’ impact on student learning. Finally, the paper outlines the ongoing community-based research work in the Yukon context, with reference to the work’s potential significance to the wider education community.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Four
March 24, 2014
The Erosion of University Autonomy in Manitoba
Dan Smith, University College of the North
Examining legislative change between 1997 and 2013, and analyzing the governance of Manitoba’s post-secondary system using military concepts of strategy, operations, and tactics, this article argues that there has been a trend since 2006 of a general loss of university autonomy in the province. The article finds that changes in public policy in Manitoba’s post-secondary system, and how that policy is implemented, have led to a progressive movement towards greater government intrusion in what heretofore have been internal matters at the province’s universities.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Three
March 6, 2014
Métis Student Self-Identification in Ontario’s K–12 Schools: Education Policy and Parents, Families, and Communities
Jonathan Anuik, University of Alberta,
and Laura-Lee Bellehumeur-Kearns, St. Francis Xavier University
The mandate for school boards to develop self-identification policies for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students is part of the 2007 Ministry of Education’s Ontario First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework. In this paper, we share findings from a larger study on the Framework that examines Métis student self-identification processes and assesses barriers, challenges, opportunities, and best practices. We draw on themes from a literature review concerning Métis education and we examine data from an online survey and key interviews with school administrators responsible for initiatives to support Métis students’ self-identification. The survey and interviews took place in the winter of 2011. We find that, for the self-identification policy to be effective, teachers, administrators, and support staff (clerks, receptionists, secretaries, and teaching/educational assistants) must build a school climate that welcomes Métis learners and parents, families, and communities and affirms their historical and contemporary values in practice. This way, students and their families may feel comfortable to identify as Métis.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-Two
February 13, 2014
Administrators’ Views on Teacher Evaluation: Examining Ontario’s Teacher Performance Appraisal
Sachin Maharaj, OISE, University of Toronto
This study examines the views of administrators (i.e., principals and vice-principals) in Ontario, Canada, with regard to the province’s Teacher Performance Appraisal process. A total of 178 responses were collected from a survey that examined five areas: 1) preparation and training; 2) classroom observations; 3) preparing the formal evaluation; 4) the impact on teaching practice; and 5) improving the process. Results indicate that administrators did not receive extensive training and, of the training they did receive, most did not find it very useful. Most administrators did not feel strongly that the classroom observations adequately assessed teacher practice and most did not feel that there had been substantial improvement in teacher practice in their schools as a result of the process. The most common suggestions for improvement were to have more classroom observations, some of which are unannounced; to evaluate teachers more frequently; and to have more than two rating categories.
Issue One Hundred Fifty-One
January 21, 2014
More Drama in School Leadership: Developing Creative and Ethical Capacities in the Next Generation of School Leaders
Jerome Cranston, University of Manitoba,
and Kristin Kusanovich, Santa Clara University
This paper shares the outcomes derived from research conducted with the participants of an interdisciplinary workshop entitled “The Drama in School Leadership” that employs applied drama processes and analysis in order to understand educational ethics. Participants explore high-stakes scenarios in school leadership by taking on roles in scripted cases with an ensemble. Findings from previous research on a similar workshop had shown that these methods help develop a felt or embodied understanding of ethical decision making. The findings generated from data generated from this second, different group of participants indicated new insights about leadership style and some increased facility with actual application of ethical frameworks to cases as a result of these methods. Participants also acknowledged the parallels between creative risk-taking in applied drama and real school leadership. Finally, participants articulated that while there is indeed ambiguity associated with ethical decision making, this approach allowed them to better understand the complex, even paradoxical dynamics between stakeholders in schools.
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Issue One Hundred Fifty
December 19, 2013
Perceptions of Graduate Supervision: Relationships with Time of Reflection and Post-Secondary Climate
Elizabeth Graham and Shannon A. Gadbois, Brandon University
This paper discusses the similarities and differences between Canadian doctoral students and new faculty members regarding their experiences with and perceptions of their graduate supervisors and mentoring. Participants’ responses were considered in light of the current post-secondary culture that emphasizes increased productivity and accountability of faculty members and the student as customer (e.g., Turk, 2000). An examination of survey and interview responses from participants showed that whereas both groups valued supervision that includes both career and psychosocial functions of mentoring (Kram, 1983), doctoral students tended to place more emphasis on the psychosocial functions than did the new faculty. In addition, although, in general, both groups gave more favourable ratings of their supervisors for career as opposed to psychosocial functions, new faculty members were more satisfied with their supervisors and rated their supervisors higher on most mentoring functions. These differences between groups were considered in light of universities’ adoption of a managerial, audit culture (e.g., Cribb & Gewirtz, 2006) that encourages students to perceive themselves as consumers and requires faculty to meet competing demands on their skills and time.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Nine
November 27, 2013
Students as Policy Actors: The TDSB Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy
Tania Ferfolja, University of Western Sydney
Discrimination on the basis of homophobia/transphobia in many schools is an internationally recognised problem. The Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy (EFS) provides an explicit mandate to schools in its jurisdiction to address such discrimination and educate about sexual and gendered diversity. This research, which draws on the work of Ball et al. (2012), examines how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) equity work was being implemented in two TDSB high schools. In particular, it illustrates how some students were more than subjectively produced by policy, but were agentic policy actors who were integral to the enactments of LGBTQ equity work undertaken in the schools.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Eight
November 15, 2013
Graduate Programs in Education: Impact on Teachers’ Careers
Janice Tucker, California Lutheran University, and Marian Fushell
This paper examined teachers’ decisions to pursue graduate programs and their career choices following completion of their studies. Based on document analysis and statistical examination of teacher questionnaire responses, this study determined that teachers choose graduate studies for different reasons, their program choice influences future career options, the impact varies across programs, and barriers preventing teachers from advancing to leadership positions exist. These findings also show that females are underrepresented in the most senior leadership positions and there are significant gender differences in career goals and program selection. Policy makers need to address issues like the work-life balance, increased workload, gender imbalance, and increased opportunities for aspiring leaders.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Seven
October 28, 2013
Principal Leadership: Blending the Historical Perspective With the Current Focus on Competencies in the Alberta Context
Carmen Mombourquette, University of Lethbridge
This study was designed to explore the impact of the standards movement on the principalship in the province of Alberta, Canada. In 2009 the minister of education approved a set of practice guidelines for school leaders. The Guidelines list seven practice standards called leadership competencies. In 2012 a review was conducted to see how these leadership competencies were being articulated in the policies and procedures of the province’s English speaking publicly funded school jurisdictions. Fourteen of the 46 jurisdictions reviewed had policies or procedures that were consistent with the Guidelines mandate. This lack of acceptance of the Guideline as formal policy presents itself as a worrisome finding and indicates a lack of penetration from the provincial to the school jurisdiction level.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Six
October 19, 2013
Making Schools Safe and Inclusive: Gay-Straight Alliances and School Climate in Ontario
Julian Kitchen, Brock University, and Christine Bellini, OISE, University of Toronto
Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) have become widespread in Ontario schools and, starting in 2012, all schools are required to permit students to form GSAs. While American research suggests that GSAs have a positive impact on school safety and inclusion, there is little research on the impact of GSAs in Canadian schools. This study, based on a survey of 41 educators working with GSAs, suggests that policy changes in Ontario have had a positive impact on school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students and that GSAs contribute to the development of safer and more inclusive schools.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Five
September 18, 2013
The Impact of Centralization on Local School District Governance in Canada
Gerald Galway, Memorial University, Bruce Sheppard, Memorial University, John Wiens, University of Manitoba, and Jean Brown, Memorial University
Across Canada there have been numerous recent examples of incidents where the political and ideological interests of provincial governments have run counter to the mandates of school districts. In this pan-Canadian study, focus groups were conducted with school board trustees and school district superintendents to examine the relationships between districts and provincial governments. Preliminary data suggest that the significance of the school district apparatus in Canada has diminished as provincial governments have enacted an aggressive centralization agenda. We theorize that in a politicized environment, the values, reward systems, and accountabilities against which school board superintendents and trustees operate are likely to differ substantively from those of politicians and bureaucrats, thereby creating a policy environment that is antagonistic to local governance.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Four
August 26, 2013
Hiring and Supporting New Teachers Who Focus on
Nancy Maynes and Blaine E. Hatt, Nipissing University
Hiring the best teacher for a school is a high stakes venture, fraught with danger that the choice may not be productive in terms of optimizing student learning. Those charged with the task of hiring teachers may not share a common view of how to assess applicants to identify the right “fit” for the position. A Professional Shift Theory (pst) model was developed to conceptualize characteristics of teachers’ shift toward focusing on students’ learning. School administrators identify the evidence they look for in interviews to highlight pst characteristics in potential hires, and support these characteristics after hiring. This study was undertaken to help school administrators identify those characteristics that they determine to be most desirable in new teachers who are potential new hires for a board. The study found many related trends in the responses of participants, including their heavy reliance on the use of conceptual language among interviewees as evidence that these teacher applicants can deliver the named skill when they teach. It is evident in this study that administrators who hire new teachers would benefit from professional development that helps them understand ways to mentor, model, and coach new teachers, and need further professional development that would help them understand how these types of support differ.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Three
August 3, 2013
School Culture and Physical Activity: A Systematic Review
Greg Rickwood, Nipissing University
This review examines literature on aspects of school culture and students’ physical activity participation. The following questions were addressed: (1) what aspects of school culture have been examined in relation to physical activity, (2) what is the weight of evidence concerning the relationships between school culture factors and physical activity participation, and (3) what are the areas of need in this line of research. Edgar Schein’s organizational culture model offered the framework for analysis in which pertinent articles were categorized into one of three levels of school culture: (1) artifacts, (2) espoused values, and (3) underlying member assumptions. School artifacts associated with physical activity were used more frequently by students and staff when these spaces and equipment were maintained, relevant to the school context and when daily practices allowed access to these artifacts during leisure times. A secondary theme revealed the importance of school-based, adult and student role models; when both were plentiful in schools, students and staff were more active at school on a daily basis. Another key finding indicated that students in Physical Education (PE) classes that reinforced traditional, team games (i.e., basketball, volleyball) were less active than students in PE classes that incorporated culturally relevant, lifestyle, and small-sided games.
Issue One Hundred Forty-Two
July 8, 2013
Problems of Practice: Canadian Cases in Leadership and Policy
Guest Editors: Katina Pollock and James Ryan
Table of Contents in Brief:
1. Problems of Practice: Canadian Cases in Leadership and Policy
Katina Pollock, Western University, and James Ryan, OISE, University of Toronto
2. Navigating in Stormy Waters
Ann E. Lopez and Jacqueline Button, OISE, University of Toronto
3. A Case of Teacher Opposition to School District Assessment
and Evaluation Policy
Marian Fushell, Education Consultant
4. Beliefs and Responsibilities of Educational Stakeholders
Concerning Student Success and Effective Principal Leadership
Pierre Lapointe and Emmanuel Poirel, University of Montreal,
and André Brassard, University of Montreal/University of Sherbrooke
5. Organizing for Professional Learning Communities:
Embedding Professional Learning During the School Day
Kristen Ferguson, Nipissing University
6. TAR (Theatre as Representation) as a Provocative Teaching Tool
in School Administration: A Dramatized Inclusive Classroom Scenario
Matthew J. Meyer and David C. Young, St. Francis Xavier University
7. Unmasking Vandalism: A Case of Social Justice Leadership Complexities
Hartej Gill, University of British Columbia
8. The Case of the Runaway Meeting
Stephanie Tuters and James Ryan, OISE, University of Toronto
9. Social Justice in Schools: A Case of Conflicting Values
Katie Higginbottom, OISE, University of Toronto, and Chris Friesen, Principal
10. Developing Transformative Leaders to Support
Everyday Antiracism Practices
Patricia Briscoe, Brock University
11. The Novice Principal: Change and Challenges
Shawn Northfield, University of Nottingham
Issue One Hundred Forty-One
May 18, 2013
The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning Implementation in a High School
Jennifer Katz, University of Manitoba,
and Ron Sugden, Prairie Rose School Division
The role of the school leader (principal) in supporting educational reform is explored through a case study of one high school implementing the Three Block Model of UDL (Katz, 2012a) in an effort to meet the needs of a diverse student population. This case study is a part of a much larger study exploring outcomes for students and teachers of implementing the model with social and academic inclusion as a goal (Katz, 2013). In this article, analysis of the principal’s field notes, photographs, and video evidence is detailed to illuminate a process for supporting inclusive education through teachers’ professional development in universal design for learning. Results indicated the principal’s efforts to provide teachers with professional development, planning time for collaboration, vision, and direct involvement in instructional delivery resulted in positive outcomes for both students’ and teachers’ learning, self-efficacy, and sense of community.
Issue One Hundred Forty
March 12, 2013
Toward Instructional Leadership:
Principals’ Perceptions of Large-Scale Assessment in Schools
Michelle Prytula, Brian Noonan, and Laurie Hellsten,
University of Saskatchewan
This paper describes a study of the perceptions that Saskatchewan school principals have regarding large-scale assessment reform and their perceptions of how assessment reform has affected their roles as principals. The findings revealed that large-scale assessments, especially provincial assessments, have affected the principal in Saskatchewan more positively than negatively or not at all, and that large-scale assessments appeared, in some cases, to have catalyzed the principals to move toward practices of instructional leadership, including goal setting, improving instructional practices, and measuring changes in student learning. Implications are included.
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