Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Bottom-Up Incremental Change, Critical Theory, Informal Leader, Transformational Leadership, Servant Leadership, Social Constructivism


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) explores a Problem of Practice (PoP) that examines the lack of character development opportunities for students within a lower school (K-5) context. It explores the need to unify academic achievement and character education as mutually reinforcing parts of the curriculum. American International School, AIS, (pseudonym) is a private, non-profit independent K-12 American based college preparatory school with a hierarchal structure located in a medium-sized city in Asia. The organization's practices focus on academic excellence and on achieving the mission paraphrased as helping to shape caring and moral individuals who can make a positive difference in the world. One of the school's strategic plan goals focuses on the continued development of character across the community. However, a strong focus on academics and schedule time constraints limits the achievement of this objective. This OIP incorporates transformational and servant leadership approaches. It is viewed from a social constructivist lens to understand the world in which I work (Creswell, 2014; Mack, 2010; Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007). A critical lens is also applied since there is a marginalization of teachers' voices advocating for character-related opportunities. The OIP uses a bottom-up, incremental approach to change, and the Change Path Model (Cawsey, Deszca & Ingols, 2016). Nadler and Tushman's (1980) Organizational Congruence Model has also been utilized to demonstrate the lower school components' misalignment. The chosen solution in this OIP addresses the need to implement character education into current structures such as within literacy lessons and the curriculum. This OIP can result in the alignment of practices to the mission, vision, and goals of the organization. In this way, the lower school can achieve its ideological goals.