Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




urban school, achievement gap, collective teacher efficacy, socio-economic status, transformational leadership, transformative leadership



Urban Academy is one of Urban Diverse School Board (UDSB)’s model schools situated in Ontario, Canada. A model school program was created to provide students with equitable access to resources and learning opportunities. Despite UDSB’s commitment to equity and inclusion, this urban school continues to experience persistent achievement gaps when aggregate data are analyzed. Based on student data, the achievement gap has been strongly connected to demographic factors such as low socioeconomic status (SES) of the parents. Educators’ beliefs and assumptions of low SES as an external factor posit achievement as a dilemma beyond teachers’ control. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP), guided by Cawsey, Deszca, & Ingols’ s (2016) Change Path Model and Donohoo’s (2017) Collective Teacher Inquiry Model, addresses a problem of practice (PoP) that needs school leaders to explore the closing of achievement gap through the promotion of collective teacher efficacy (CTE). According to research, CTE positively correlates with improved student performance. Academic achievement tends to be poorer in schools with lower sense of CTE while improved academic performance is higher in schools with greater sense of CTE. In order for Urban Academy to experience change and close achievement gaps, this OIP recommends a blend of transformational and transformative leadership approach known for fostering collaboration, addressing inequity, and modelling valued behaviours and beliefs (Sun & Leithwood, 2012; Shields, 2010; 2013). With deep learning and reflections through collaborative inquiry, the preferred solution of this OIP is to explore how CTE can be enhanced to effect transformational change that will improve student academic achievement.