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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Stephanie Tuters and John Portelli

Ontario is the most ethnically diverse province in Canada. School educators cannot disregard the reality of diversity in all its senses. The question that directs the…

Abstract

Purpose

Ontario is the most ethnically diverse province in Canada. School educators cannot disregard the reality of diversity in all its senses. The question that directs the focus of this paper is: to what extent are leaders in Ontario formally prepared to lead schools that support the students of today? The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper results from a document analysis of publicly available documents to investigate the current context in Ontario, Canada regarding the educational and social situation of new immigrants, immigration, refugees, and ethno-culturally diverse students. It includes an exploration of the training and information available for principals and vice principals in Ontario to support them in leading schools which serve increasingly diverse student bodies. This paper is also informed by interviews with 59 educational leaders from Ontario and the USA. Interviews centred around their experiences engaging in practices to support their diverse student populations.

Findings

Results of the data analysis regarding the supports and training available to assist educational leaders in supporting the learning needs of diverse student populations demonstrate a serious lack of support. Very few actual resources exist for leaders, and most of those that do exist are connected to agencies outside of the education system, such as Settlement services.

Research limitations/implications

Recent research investigating the relationship between identities and educational experience and teaching points to the importance of in-depth and targeted approaches to teacher preparation, and leadership preparation to help provide teachers and leaders with the knowledge, dispositions, and skills required to support all students in their academic and social development (Cochran Smith et al., 2009). This study confirms such findings. Given the current situation in Ontario and much of North America, there is a great need for leadership preparation programming, and school-level resources that provide educational leaders with the knowledge and skills to support all students in their academic and social development, but also in helping educational leaders to understand and address the systemic nature and forms of discrimination which their students face daily.

Practical implications

With very few school boards requiring leaders to have a Masters’ degree in Education, and none having stipulations regarding course content. This leaves educational leaders unprepared to deal with the reality of their situations, leading to the perpetuation of inequities in Ontario schools.

Originality/value

Although sparse, previous research into the state of support and preparation for administrators and educators with regard to diverse student populations in Ontario revealed that little to no preparation or support exists (see e.g. Price, 2002). This study helps to fill that gap in existing research.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

James Ryan and Stephanie Tuters

The purpose of this paper is to describe a study that explores the discreet activist strategies of educational leaders who promote social justice.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a study that explores the discreet activist strategies of educational leaders who promote social justice.

Design/methodology/approach

Part of a larger project, this study employed qualitative methods. In particular, researchers interviewed 26 leaders – principals, vice principals, department heads, and central office officials who presided over both homogeneous and diverse schools, departments, and districts in and around a large Canadian city. Data were analyzed during and after data collection, and themes were identified, explored, and described.

Findings

Given the resistance they faced in their efforts to promote social justice, leaders found that they had to be strategic in their efforts. In particular, they had to position themselves in ways that reduced their visibility and increased their credibility. When they took action, they tended to adopt subtle rather than obvious strategies.

Originality/value

The harsh reality for activist educational leaders who promote social justice is that they will likely have to be strategic in the way they go about their work. Given the nature of their relationships with the organizations in which they work and the power differentials within which they operate, educational leaders may have to adopt low key or discreet strategies if they are to successfully promote their social justice agendas.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Jeffrey S. Brooks, Anthony H. Normore and Jane Wilkinson

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Jeffrey S. Brooks, Anthony H. Normore and Jane Wilkinson

The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretical connections between educational leadership for social justice and support for immigration. The authors seek to identify…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretical connections between educational leadership for social justice and support for immigration. The authors seek to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for further study and improved practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theoretical research paper that introduces, evaluates and expands two frameworks for understanding leadership and immigration.

Findings

Findings suggested that there is a need for educational leadership scholars to more purposefully investigate issues related to social justice and immigration.

Originality/value

This study offers a novel theoretical perspective on leadership, social justice and immigration.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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