section includes articles published from 2011 to the present.
Issues are listed in descending chronological order.
2013 (Issue 140–141)
2012 (Issues 128–139)
2011 (Issues 116–127)
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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Issue One Hundred Thirty-Nine
November 24, 2012
Developing and Launching an Online hub to Facilitate
the Exchange of Research Knowledge in Education:
The Case of the OERE
Stephanie Tuters, Robyn Read, Shasta Carr Harris, Arif Anwar,
and Ben Levin, OISE, University of Toronto
This paper outlines the process by which the Ontario Education Research Exchange (OERE), part of the Knowledge Network of Applied Education Research, developed and launched an online hub of education research summaries to facilitate greater use of research by stakeholders in the field of education. The project is an effort in knowledge mobilization funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education to help increase the use of research to inform policy and practice in Ontario. The paper begins with an outline of the background and history of the project. Next, the three main components of the project are outlined—collecting/writing the summaries and creating the inventory, putting together the peer review process, and creating the online hub for storing and sharing the summaries and facilitating the peer review process. This paper provides useful information that can be translated to similar projects with the goals of summarizing, storing, and/or sharing research with a broad audience.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Eight
October 29, 2012
Considerations for Education Reform in British Columbia
Ana Santos, University of Victoria
Countries around the world refer to twenty-first century education as essential to maintaining personal and national economic advantage and draw on this discourse to advocate for and embark on educational reform. This paper examines issues around education reform, particularly in British Columbia. It argues that reformers should give careful consideration to the latest research on successful reform drivers as articulated by Michael Fullan, examples of best practices as illustrated by the province of Ontario, and heed the U.S. attempt at reform as a cautionary tale. All these factors are crucial to implementing education reform in B.C., especially in the current challenging and contentious political climate.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Seven
October 4, 2012
School Attachment Theory and Restitution Processes:
Promoting Positive Behaviors in Middle Years Schools
Christine Penner, Interlake School Division,
and Dawn Wallin, University of Manitoba
This paper presents the findings of a case study that examined school attachment and restitution strategies used in a middle years school to determine if the program had provided a viable means of promoting and sustaining positive behaviors among middle years students. Data were gathered by interviewing five teachers who had Restitution I training and five students who had multiple discipline referrals to the office, and by examining school-wide discipline referral documentation. Students and teachers agreed that positive student–teacher relationships and developing a warm, safe, caring classroom and school environment were instrumental in creating the conditions for students to redress their actions and in attaching students to their school community. Involvement in extra-curricular activities, meeting friends, feeder school visits, the availability of food, and having fun were other factors cited as increasing students’ connection and sense of belonging. Collaboration with colleagues, support from administration, speaking the same restitution language, goal setting, parental support, and having a compassionate approach were seen as factors supporting the implementation of restitution, whereas lack of time, not having all staff embrace the philosophies and practices of restitution, teachers who were unwilling to share negative experiences, and students who were hardened from a multitude of poor life experiences and bad choices were seen as hindrances to the restitution process.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Six
September 20, 2012
Twenty Years and Counting: An Examination of
the Development of Equity and Inclusive Education Policy
in Ontario (1990–2010)
Allison Segeren, University of Western Ontario,
and Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Queen’s University
In response to the oft-cited inadequacies of the policies and pedagogies of multicultural education, the Ontario Ministry of Education mandated that school boards develop equity and inclusive education policies, as specified in Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119 [2009 version]: “Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario Schools.” Relying on document analysis and policy analysis as methods of data collection, this study examined the ideological, socio-cultural, political, legal, and economic context from which PPM No. 119  developed in order to understand what groups of stakeholders were included in the policy development and whose values the policy document ultimately represents. Collected documents that represent both the federal and provincial level of policy making and a variety of regional stakeholders and policy actors illustrated that, despite a shift to focus on equity, conceptions of liberal multiculturalism continue to influence education policy in Ontario. This study concluded that the process of equity education policy development must be made a more inclusive process, reflecting the identities, values, and experiences of school administrators, teachers, and students.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Five
August 27, 2012
Exploring School Principals’ Hiring Decisions:
Fitting In and Getting Hired
Jerome Cranston, University of Manitoba
Hiring preferences can often determine the amount and kind of consideration shown to candidates for teaching positions, and therefore can have a profound impact on school culture, but have been largely unexplored. This paper describes how one group of principals in Manitoba approach hiring decisions when assessing prospective teachers for “fit” both for the profession and for their schools. Based on a conceptual framework that examined the criteria used in hiring decisions along four sub-categories of person-environment (P-E) fit (Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005), the findings illustrate the critical role that principals can play in assessing applicants along various dimensions of fit even though they may have little formal preparation that would increase the reliability of such assessments. Additionally, these highly interpretive assessments constitute a significant part in decisions of who to hire, even though little is known about the relationship between assessments of fit and teacher effectiveness in the classroom. Finally, suggestions are offered that might improve the likelihood that those responsible for hiring teachers are aware of some of the biases that influence various decision-making phases of the hiring process.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Four
July 13, 2012
Transforming Schools into Learning Organizations: Supports and Barriers to Educational Reform
Raymond B. Williams, St. Thomas University, Ken Brien, University of New Brunswick, and Janelle LeBlanc, St. Thomas University
The outdated manner in which we operate schools is tied to a reality that no longer exists. The society for which we prepare our students has shifted from a factory to a learning organization model. If we hope to prepare our graduates for successful participation in learning organizations we must transform both the structure and culture of our schools. This article summarizes data from 50 New Brunswick schools that are attempting to implement a professional learning community approach. In it we analyze both the strengths and barriers that impact this effort. The findings focus on the culture, leadership, teaching, and the professional growth in these schools. While identifying essential changes they contain promise that the task is achievable.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Three
May 18, 2012
Change Forces: Implementing Change in a Secondary School for the Common Good
Wayne Melville and Anthony Bartley, Lakehead University,
and Molly Weinburgh, Texas Christian University
In this article, we investigate the change forces that act on administrators, subject department chairpersons and teachers as they seek to implement a change in a Canadian secondary school. Using a case study methodology, our analysis of the data uses Sergiovanni’s (1998) six change forces: bureaucratic, personal, market, professional, cultural, and democratic forces. Our interpretation supports the importance of the principal and administrators, working together with teachers, in implementing change. The analysis points to the chairperson of subject departments having a crucial, but often overlooked, role in the implementation of change. Three key co-requisites that allow chairpersons to play this critical role are: the existence of a school-level democratic commitment to the common good that guides the work of professional learning; the location of professional learning within departments to operationalise the common good; and, the capacity of the chairperson to fulfil their role as an instructional leader in the fullest sense of the term.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-Two
April 11, 2012
A Critical Analysis of Self-Governance Agreements Addressing First-Nations Control of Education in Canada
Gerald Fallon, University of British Columbia,
and Jerald Paquette, University of Western Ontario
This paper reviews the meaning and content of various First-Nation self-government discourses that have emerged over the last 40 years. Based on a detailed thematic analysis of policy papers, reports, and self-governance agreements on this issue of First-Nations control of education, this paper presents a coherent and defensible understanding of the current state of First-Nations rights to control education while mapping institutional arrangements or internal principles of organization for self-determination that have emerged over time in discourse on First-Nations rights and education in Canada.
Issue One Hundred Thirty-One
March 26, 2012
“Fear of Stigmatisation”: Black Canadian Youths’ Reactions to the Implementation of a Black-Focused School in Toronto
Megan K. Gordon and Dawn M. Zinga, Brock University
The black-focused school introduced by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in 2009 has been controversial since the community consultations were conducted. Although media representations and Dei (1996, 2006) provide insight into what Torontonians’ reactions are to the proposed black-focused school, the reactions of black youth in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have not been documented. We address that gap by providing a representation of black youths’ voices obtained via focus groups. Black youth from the GTA voiced their agreement with elements of the proposal, but resisted the idea of implementing the proposal by creating a separate school. These findings pose important implications for those in education fields, the TDSB and the black-focused school proponents.
Issue One Hundred Thirty
March 5, 2012
Lessons in Leadership: Perspectives on Corporate
and Educational Reform
Gerald Galway, Memorial University
Between 1970 and 1990 enrolment in Newfoundland and Labrador schools dropped by 22 percent. The first wave of major educational reform (1990 to 2000) saw massive reductions in public school expenditures and the reduction of more than 1650 teachers. Facing continued enrolment loss and a large current account deficit, in 2004, government again consolidated school districts. In this paper I examine the 1997 and 2004 reforms and argue that the “rationalization” agenda set by government was aggressive—driven primarily by fiscal and corporate factors. While the reforms accomplished their corporate goals, they also resulted in educational and organizational costs which should be weighed against potential benefits.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Nine
February 13, 2012
Social Justice: The Missing Link in School Administrators’ Perspectives on Teacher Induction
Laura Elizabeth Pinto, Niagara University, John P. Portelli, OISE, University of Toronto, Cindy Rottmann, University of Manitoba, Karen Pashby, OISE, University of Toronto, Sarah Elizabeth Barrett, York University, and Donatille Mujuwamariya, University of Ottawa
Critical scholars view schooling as one piece of a larger struggle for democracy and social justice. We investigated 41 school administrators’ perceptions about the role and importance of equity, diversity and social justice in new teacher induction in the province of Ontario. Interviews reveal that principals were interested in shaping teacher induction programming in their schools and school districts, but that they regularly prioritized technical issues like classroom management and pedagogy over systemic issues like equity and social justice. When asked directly about equity, principals spoke about learning styles, special needs and differentiated instruction, but they regularly ignored new teachers’ abilities to counter systemic oppression—racism, sexism, and classism. Our findings suggest that without an explicit focus on equity and social justice in provincial policy documents, teacher induction programming runs the risk of reproducing a transmission model of new teacher education.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Eight
January 16, 2012
Education Governance Reform in Ontario:
Neoliberalism in Context
Peggy Sattler, University of Western Ontario
This paper explores the relationship between neoliberal ideology and the discourse and practice of education governance reform in Ontario over the last two decades. It focuses on changes in education governance introduced by successive Ontario governments: the NDP government from 1990 to 1995, the Progressive Conservative government from 1995 to 2003, and the Liberal government from 2003 until the present. The analytical approach deploys the three models of education governance identified by Bedard and Lawton (2000) – policy interdependence, administrative agency and policy tutelage – to describe differences in the policy content of the neoliberal governance reform projects undertaken by each government. The paper uses the work and recommendations of three government-appointed bodies – the Royal Commission on Learning (RCOL), the Education Improvement Commission (EIC) and the Governance Review Committee (GRC) – to capture critical shifts and tensions in governance reform strategies. Three interrelated points are offered to further the understanding of education governance dynamics in neoliberal paradigms in Ontario: first, the influence of political ideologies on approaches to governance and accountability; second, the mediating role played by government-appointed bodies; and third, the incrementalism of neoliberal reforms in education governance policy.
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Issue One Hundred Twenty-Seven
December 30, 2011
Role Identity: At the Intersection of Organizational Socialization
and Individual Sensemaking of New Principals and Vice-Principals
This study of one mid-sized Canadian school district employed a case study approach to uncover and document the influences of organizational socialization, sensemaking, and perceptions of self-efficacy on the development of administrators’ role identities. Findings describe formal and informal socialization processes experienced by administrators, how administrators made sense of their socialization, and how these processes influenced the development of their role identity and subsequent practice. A new framework for considering the organizational socialization of administrators is presented. This study will be of interest to those responsible for planning succession, professional development, and administrator preparedness programs.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Six
December 5, 2011
Can Simple Interventions Increase Research Use in Secondary Schools?
Ben Levin, Amanda Cooper, Shalini Arjomand, and Kathy Thompson,
OISE, University of Toronto
A variety of interventions have been attempted in education and other fields to increase the use of research use in policy and practice. However, there is still limited research on the impact of these interventions. This paper uses survey and qualitative data to analyze three interventions designed to increase research use among secondary school leaders in nine Canadian school districts. These interventions were found to have little impact, but were more successful where (1) designated facilitators were involved and (2) research used was connected to existing priority issues. The research design for this study (measuring the change in agreement with particular bodies of research knowledge using interventions and pre-post design) is a promising methodology to measure both research use and impact.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Five
October 19, 2011
“Put on a Happy Face”: Tenure, Grievance, and Governance
Gerald de Montigny, Carleton University
This paper examines the processes of tenure denial and appeal from the standpoint of the author, who has been the Grievance Chair at Carleton University since 2000. The focus is on the ways that the grievance process as textually mediated provides for regulation and control over the forms of interaction between appellants and senior administration. The paper provides an ethnography of grievance work during the appeal process, to advance our understanding of ways that participants to the process deploy texts to produce accountable institutional orders. Further, by examining the ways that senior administrators justify their decision to deny faculty tenure, we can glimpse the emerging dynamics of inter-university competition for students, research funding, and prestige. It is argued that the decisions of senior administrators to use tenure denials, as a means to remake the university, not only threaten faculty, but threaten the integrity of the university mission.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Four
September 21, 2011
Impact of the Nova Scotia School Accreditation Program on Teaching and Student Learning: An Initial Study
Christine Wood, Chignecto-Central Regional School Board,
and Matthew J. Meyer, St. Francis Xavier University
School accreditation is one process currently mandated in Nova Scotia schools to facilitate school improvement efforts. This mixed methods study sought to discover and describe the impact of the Nova Scotia School Accreditation Program (NSSAP) specifically on teaching and student learning in three secondary schools in one school board. Surveys, interviews, and school documents provided data concerning the nature of each school’s respective improvement goals and subsequent implemented strategies. An analysis follows that considers the NSSAP impact on teacher participation and student achievement, and the ambiguity of program success.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Three
August 18, 2011
High School Career Education: Policy and Practice
Hanh Quah Theresa Truong, Murdoch University
A considerable amount of research in a number of different jurisdictions has shown student dissatisfaction with career counselling in secondary schools. This article explores policy and practice by reflecting on two counsellor interviews and 35 student responses to a questionnaire about career education in a single Ontario high school. Students noted a level of certainty about their postsecondary plans, and reported experiential learning being most helpful to career planning. However, demands on counsellors’ time are seen as substantial and dissatisfaction with program provisions remains high. High student-counsellor ratios, over-extended counsellor responsibilities and low student initiative suggest a need for different approaches to helping students plan for their postsecondary careers.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-Two
June 23, 2011
Inclusive Education: Identifying Teachers’ Strategies for Coping with
Perceived Stressors in Inclusive Classrooms
Darlene Brackenreed, Nipissing University
This research replicates the study conducted by Forlin (2001) in Churchlands, Western Australia. Forlin’s Inclusive Education Teacher Stress and Coping Questionnaire was adapted from the original questionnaire to more accurately reflect the language and practice of inclusion in Ontario. The purpose of this portion of the study was to determine teachers’ strategies for coping with their levels of stress with respect to teaching students with an identified exceptionality in their inclusive classrooms. Additionally, the study was to inform practice for teachers and policy makers of Ontario and perhaps other regions of Canada. Implications for teachers and recommendations for further research are presented. The population for this study was drawn from teachers in north-eastern Ontario, Canada.
Issue One Hundred Twenty-One
May 10, 2011
A Role for Research in Initial Teacher Education Admissions:
A Case Study from One Canadian University
Dianne Thomson, Everton Cummings, Amanda K. Ferguson, Erica Miyuki Moizumi Yael Sher, Xiaoyan Wang, Kathryn Broad, and Ruth A. Childs, OISE, University of Toronto
This article argues for the importance of broad and on-going research to support initial or pre-service teacher education program admissions. Examples from a large initial teacher education program at one Canadian university illustrate the contributions of research to the evaluation and refinement of admission processes. These examples include anonymous surveys and confidential interviews of current pre-service teachers about their experiences of answering application questions about their social identity, how they decided to apply to and attend the program, and their expectations of teacher education and teaching. Research studies about the perspectives of and agreement among the application raters are also discussed. Finally, how the operational needs of the admission processes shape the research agenda and the emerging research findings in turn shape the admission processes is explored.
Issue One Hundred Twenty
April 6, 2011
The Pasternak Case and American Gender Equity Policy:
Implications for Canadian High School Athletics
Dean M. Beaubier, Elton Collegiate Institute, Shannon A. Gadbois, Brandon University, and Sheldon L. Stick, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
In 2004 twin sisters Amy and Jesse Pasternak competed for the prospect of playing high school hockey, vying for the boys’ team rather than the girls’. The sisters’ opportunities were negated by the Manitoba High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). This paper examines the 2006 decision by the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and a 2008 judgment by the provincial Court of Queen’s Bench regarding an application for judicial review. We argue that these decisions imply that Canadian high school governance bodies should study gender equity policies and the judicial decisions surrounding similar high school challenges in the United States. This ultimately has implications for future such circumstances.
Issue One Hundred Nineteen
March 11, 2011
An Exploration of the Implementation of Restorative Justice in an Ontario Public School
Kristin Reimer, University of Ottawa
This qualitative case study explores the implementation of restorative justice within one Ontario Public School. Restorative justice is a philosophy and a process for dealing with harmful behaviour, viewing such behaviour as a violation of relationships, not rules. My research seeks to present how restorative justice has been implemented in one school, reaching beyond an examination of the effectiveness of restorative justice to an exploration of how teachers and administrators think and feel about, and actually employ, restorative justice practices. My findings suggest that while there is a personal commitment to the practice of restorative justice on the part of both teachers and administrators, if necessary structures and cultural systems are not in place, then it is difficult to sustain the restorative justice program. This study identifies factors needed to sustain a transformative reform such as restorative justice.
Issue One Hundred Eighteen
February 24, 2011
Creating Inclusive Space for Aboriginal Scholars and Scholarship in the Academy: Implications for Employment Equity Policy
Karen A. Roland, University of Windsor
Many Canadian universities report an under-representation of Aboriginal scholars in their professoriate. Employment equity policy seeks to redress the under-representation of marginalized groups in the Canadian workforce, including Aboriginal peoples. This article presents the findings of a case study which sought to examine, from the perspective of Aboriginal scholars, the under-representation of Aboriginal scholars in the Ontario professoriate, specifically, why Aboriginal scholars stay, or leave the academy. The study findings illustrate the need for employment equity policy to equitably promote the recruitment of Aboriginal scholars, and further, to support their retention through the valuation of Aboriginal scholarship. The study highlights the need for Canadian universities to embrace their role as societal ‘agents of change,’ and as part of their social justice mission, to promote diversification in the professoriate by creating inclusive space for Aboriginal scholars and scholarship in the academy.
Issue One Hundred Seventeen
February 7, 2011
Principal Succession and the Micropolitics of Educators in Schools:
Some Incidental Results from a Larger Study
Matthew J. Meyer, St. Francis Xavier University, and Robert B. Macmillan, University of Western Ontario,
with Shawn K. Northfield, University of Nottingham
Principal turnover has the potential to impact seriously school morale and values as teachers attempt to adjust to new administrators and their possible shifts in focus. In an era of mandated school improvement, teachers in schools with new administrators have to deal not only with changes in district, state and/or provincial policies, but also with adapting to the new principal. To understand the process of adaptation, this article presents an exploration of micro-politics between teachers and principals at the time of administrator succession and notions of the changing interplay between power and authority.
Issue One Hundred Sixteen
January 18, 2011
Canadian Teachers’ Associations and the Inclusive Movement for Students with Special Needs
Margret Winzer and Kas Mazurek, University of Lethbridge
During the1980s Canadian teachers’ associations became deeply immersed in the reform movement that called for the inclusion of students with special needs into general classrooms. Associations raised issues surrounding inclusive schooling, particularly in regard to the conditions of teaching and learning. As inclusion evolved into a dominant paradigm for schooling, the associations assumed more positive and conciliatory stances. To illustrate the manner in which Canadian teachers’ associations confronted the inclusive schooling policy, this paper discusses common overlapping elements found in their collective dialogue surrounding three major themes –- implementation, funding and supports, and professional development. It considers initial association responses and gradual shifts in stances by many associations as they increasingly supported inclusive schooling and assimilated its concepts under the banners of teacher professionalism and social justice.