section includes articles published from 2014 to the present.
Issues are listed in descending chronological order.
2016 (Issues 175–179)
2015 (Issues 166–174)
2014 (Issues 151–165)
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Nine
August 17, 2016
Notions of Literacy in the K–12 School System in British Columbia Education Since 2002: A Contested Terrain
Jeff Park, University of Saskatchewan, and Gerald Fallon, University of British Columbia
Developing literacy competencies has become a central component of educational policy in British Columbia (BC), with policies calling for province-wide assessment and school accountability. Based on the critical policy analysis (Blaikie & Soussan, 2000) of provincial and school district documents, complemented by semi-structured interviews of senior government officials, district-based administrators, and literacy coordinators, this article discusses how the synergistic effect of the policy discourses of accountability and assessment framed the ways of thinking, conceptually and practically, about literacy mainly in terms of its instrumental value in holding public schools accountable to performance indicators. The article concludes by discussing the necessity of redefining literacy to challenge the view of literacy as a mere set of technical and human skills for economic growth to shift the dialogue toward policy alternatives that view literacy as set of capabilities for sociocultural and political change.
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Eight
August 5, 2016
Financing Canadian Universities: Major Changes Since 1802
Franz W. Nentwich
Universities began operating in the present borders of Canada in 1802. As annual enrolments grew to 1,147,233 in 2012, so too did university expenditures. Government contributions to university revenues fluctuated from 62% in 1920 to 46% in 1935, reaching a high of 81% in the mid- to late 1970s, then falling to 48% in 2014. Annual university revenues increased about 275 times between 1920 and 2014 (in constant 2014 dollars), from $129.3 million to $35.5 billion. In the two centuries between 1813 and 2013, undergraduate fees (in constant 2013 dollars) increased by a factor of 24, from $236 to $5,720.
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Seven
April 10, 2016
Children in Need of Protection: Reporting Policies in
British Columbia School Boards
Samantha Shewchuk, Queen’s University
High profile sexual assault cases by British Columbia elementary school teachers in 2010 revealed BC school boards had “disturbingly inconsistent” child protection policies. As a result of the intense media scrutiny, the BC Ministry of Education required all school boards to reassess and update their policies on reporting suspected child abuse. This article presents an analysis of (N = 50) current school board child protection policies and procedures in British Columbia and an exploration of what training, resources, and support school boards state they provide to help teachers recognize and report cases where a child needs protection. The review revealed that most boards had documentation. However, the amount of information provided by each board varied greatly. An analysis of the documents revealed some school board procedures need to be updated to reflect current legislation and expectations regarding child welfare. Policy recommendations are proposed based on the results of the study.
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Six
February 8, 2016
Educational Technology Decision-Making: Technology Acquisition for 746,000 Ontario Students
Jason Ribeiro, University of Calgary
The author explores the technology procurement process in Ontario’s publicly funded school districts to determine if it is aligned with relevant research, is grounded in best practices, and enhances student learning. Using a qualitative approach, 10 senior leaders (i.e., chief information officers, superintendents, etc.) were interviewed to reveal the most important factors driving technology acquisition, governance procedures, and assessment measures utilized by school districts in their implementation of educational technology. The data were transcribed and submitted to “computer-assisted NCT analysis” (Friese, 2014). The findings show that senior leaders are making acquisitions that are not aligned with current scholarship, that districts struggle to use data-driven decision-making to support the governance of educational technology spending, and that districts do not have effective assessment measures in place to determine the efficacy of a purchased technology. The study is meant to serve as an informative resource for senior leaders and to present research-based approaches to technology procurement.
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Five
January 9, 2016
Exploring the Gap Between Teacher Certification and Permanent Employment in Ontario: An Integrative Literature Review
Allison Brock and Thomas G. Ryan, Nipissing University
The following integrative literature review illuminates the perceptible time gap that currently exists for new Ontario teachers graduating and moving from teacher preparation programs to permanent members of the Ontario teaching community. At a time of oversupply of teachers, many new teachers within Ontario and beyond its borders become occasional teachers and must wait several years before gaining permanent teaching employment. Due to this extended wait time for a permanent contract position, it is important to explore just how occasional teachers remain prepared. Herein the question of whether new teachers are prepared for a permanent position after a period of occasional teaching is addressed.
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Issue One Hundred Seventy-Four
December 21, 2015
Establishing Best Practice in School Counselling via Collaborative Leadership in the Counsellor–School Administrator Dyad
Michael S. Reavie
School counselling services in Canada are inconsistent due to differing provincial guidelines. The lack of a national school counselling model and inconsistent provincial guidelines results in limited awareness of best practice and inconsistent services for students. Administrators and school counsellors have differing perspectives related to the counsellors’ appropriate work role, service delivery, and priority duties. This discrepancy results in challenges with inter-professional collaboration, shared leadership, and counsellor supervision. Recommendations for establishment of a school-counselling model, improved administrator–counsellor professional development, appropriate supervision, and increased administrator–counsellor collaboration are provided.
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Three
November 9, 2015
Queer Educators in Canada and Beyond:
Recommendations for Educational Administration and Policy
Guest Editors: Robert C. Mizzi and Tonya Callaghan
Table of Contents in Brief:
1. Educational Administration and Queer Educators: Building Relationships of Inclusion and Diversity
-- Tonya Callaghan, University of Calgary, and Robert C. Mizzi, University of Manitoba
2. Doctrinal Disciplining of Queer Educators in Canadian Catholic Schools
Tonya D. Callaghan, University of Calgary
3. Meantime: A Brief Personal Narrative of a Trans* Teacher
Jan Buterman, University of Alberta
4. Discursive Inconvenience: The Dis/appearing Rhetoric of LGBT Rights in Post-secondary Internationalization Texts
Kaela Jubas, University of Calgary
5. Sexualities on the Move: A Comparison of the Work Experiences
of Gay Male Educators Teaching Overseas
Robert C. Mizzi, University of Manitoba
6. The Color of the Rainbow Path: An Examination of the Intersection
of Racist and Homophobic Bullying in U.S. Higher Education
-- Mitsunori Misawa, University of Memphis
7. Workplace Experiences of Australian Lesbian and Gay Teachers: Findings From a National Survey
-- Tania Ferfolja, Western Sydney University, and Efty Stavrou, Independent scholar
Issue One Hundred Seventy-Two
October 27, 2015
Teacher Collaborative Inquiry in Ontario Elementary Schools:
An Analysis of Provincial and School Board Policies
and Support Documents
Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Theodore Christou, Lindsay Heggie,
James Murray, and Christopher Deluca, Queen’s University
Collaborative inquiry (CI) has emerged as a dominant structure for educators’ professional learning in the 21st century. The purpose of this paper is to analyze publicly available documents and policies related to CI in Ontario in order to better understand the documentary scope and spread of this professional learning model in the province. We begin by defining the parameters of CI as a dominant professional learning model before detailing our methodology for selecting and analyzing CI policies and documents at both ministry and school board levels. In our subsequent analysis, we enumerate emergent themes and findings and offer three sample case studies that illustrate how school boards in the province are documenting their experiences with CI. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of potential tensions within current CI policies as a basis for future research and policy development.
Issue One Hundred Seventy-One
September 11, 2015
Supporting Democratic Discourses of Teacher Professionalism:
The Case of the Alberta Teachers' Association
Pamela Osmond-Johnson, University of Regina
This paper explores understandings related to teacher professionalism amongst a sample of highly engaged members of the Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA). Highlighting the many ways in which the Association supported members in their bid to embody roles as leaders, learners, advocates, and policy actors, I argue that the ATA serves as a platform for the development of teacher leaders and advocates who aim to improve the quality of education on a broader scale through their work both inside and outside the classroom.
Issue One Hundred Seventy
August 13, 2015
Governance in Transition: Mothballing Manitoba’s Council on Post-Secondary Education
Dan Smith, University College of the North
Examining the Government of Manitoba decision in 2014 to eliminate the Council on Post-Secondary Education, this article argues that government sought to exercise greater control over the public post-secondary system and its institutions in the province for the purpose of exacting greater control over system integration. While the elimination of the agency was consistent with the elimination of similar agencies in other provinces, the article finds that the direction of the new post-secondary governance model is less collegial and less consultative with more emphasis on regulation, and ministerial influence than was the case with the previous intermediary model, continuing trends in Manitoba towards greater government control.
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Nine
May 4, 2015
Collaboration, Collegiality, and Collective Reflection: A Case Study of Professional Development for Teachers
Jennifer Kelly, North Okanagan-Shuswap School District,
and Sabre Cherkowski, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
This case study documents and interprets teachers’ experiences in a professional development initiative called Changing Results for Young Readers in British Columbia. The reflections and discussions of a group of teachers in a rural school district were examined in order to understand how the participants constructed their realities relative to their involvement in professional learning communities. Analysis of the teachers’ descriptions of their experiences provides insights on the significance of collaboration, collegial relationships, and shifting mindsets about the work of teaching, and these insights are important for understanding how professional development opportunities can be structured and facilitated to support the complex role of professional learning.
Issue One Hundred Sixty-Eight
April 10, 2015
Gender Privilege and the Culture of the Ontario School System: A Mid- to Late Twentieth-Century Case Study of
a Male Public School Professional
Beth Wilcox, School District 57, British Columbia
This study uses an adapted public history methodology of a local case study to analyze interviews conducted with a former Ontario teacher and principal. It draws on literature and historical documents regarding teaching between the 1950s–1980s to examine the typical experience of public school professionals in that time and discuss structural trends and beliefs regarding credentialism, local school board organization, and gender in the Ontario education system.
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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