Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Education

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Augusto Riveros

Abstract

This qualitative research study provided an interrogation of the enactment of the Ontario Leadership Framework (OLF) on the role and practices of secondary vice-principals in one school board in southern Ontario. This descriptive case study examined how the OLF influences the role, duties and practices of the secondary vice-principal and examined what leadership practices they participate in, which ones they do not, and why. The key research question was: How are the leadership practices of secondary vice-principals influenced by the OLF, and how do vice-principals use the OLF to conceptualize their role? The data collection included semi-structured interviews with ten secondary vice-principals, policy document analysis, and notes from a field journal. The relationship between the OLF and the practices of vice-principals has been largely unexplored. By providing further insight into how vice-principals translate the OLF policy into practices, it is hoped that policy makers and school and district leaders will be given insight to help inform the implementation of this policy and to use the OLF in meaningful ways with this group. This study found that by focussing all initiatives, professional learning, and resources on the principal role, assuming that both principals and vice-principals participate in the same leadership activities within the school, experienced vice-principals are left out of the leadership picture entirely by the ministry and district. Furthermore, the specific factors that may act as constraints in the ability of vice-principals to enact the OLF are neglected and job contextuality is removed, with important differences between the practices of principals and vice-principals ignored or devalued. Specifically, issues such as length of service and power and positionality are critical in understanding how vice-principals enact the OLF. Consequently, this study found that the ministry and district focus on the professional growth and learning of school principals, and the recruitment and professional learning of new school leaders, has resulted in experienced vice-principals being left behind.


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