Education Publications


Canada: Principal Leadership in Canada

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



A Decade of Research on School Principals

First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier

doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-23027-6_11


This chapter provides a preliminary summary of principals’ work in Canada. It begins with a detailed description of how public education is organized in Canada. Next, we include a brief summary of overall challenges in Canadian public education followed by a synopsis of the principal’s role throughout Canada’s provinces and territories. Following this, an explanation is provided of the meta-synthesis employed to generate meaningful themes from the 285 empirical studies included in this investigation. Findings point to two overarching meta-themes: organizational support for the principal’s workforce and the nature of principals’ work. Each of these meta-themes is then further divided into multiple subthemes. Organizational support for the principal’s workforce is separated into principal preparation, recruitment, retention, and succession planning. The nature of principals’ work is further split into two subthemes: managerial/functionalist approaches and addressing issues of difference. The chapter concludes with recommendations on where researchers and policy-makers might want to concentrate their attention and resources in further supporting school leadership in the twenty-first century.

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