Date of Submission

Spring 8-21-2017

Embargo

6-8-2017

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

Advisor

Cheryl Bauman-Buffone

Examiner

Pam Bishop

Examiner

Shelley Taylor

Examiner

Darrin Griffith

OIP Defense Chair

Elan Paulson

Keywords

Informal Leadership, Formal Leadership, Constructivist Leadership, Professional Learning Communities, Change Agent, Critical Reflective Practice

Abstract

Leadership in education presents from both an informal and formal change agent perspective. An exploration of how an informal leader from a constructivist leadership stance could effect change through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in a hierarchical organization was undertaken. Using Bolman and Deal’s (2013) theoretical frames to develop an understanding of the lens through which people view the workings within an educational institute, I chose to use Cawsey, Deszca, and Ingles’ (2016) Change Path Model to develop an organizational change plan. The plan is to attempt to effect change through Professional Learning Communities. Using the Provincial Education Program of Studies, the school board’s Three Year Plan and the individual school’s School Development Plan as a starting point, I look to understand the structure and the philosophy of the organization that I work within. As an informal leader, it is through PLCs and the following of an examination protocol that change can be effected. Assessment of teacher instruction and practice through and a study of student artifacts leads to critical reflection. The deliberateness of the analysis will play a role in the change agent’s success. As an informal leader attempting to move practice forward, there are limitations to what can be achieved. Being able to impact other teachers’ practice ultimately depends on the individual teachers, as well as the formal leadership within the school. What is significant about this OIP is the journey involved in understanding the impact that stakeholders have on educational practice, how an informal leader can effect change in a hierarchically organized system, and the value in understanding the purpose of work being done in PLCs.


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