Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




challenging student behaviour, social justice, transformative leadership, Concerns Based Adoption Model, ecological systems theory, adaptive leadership, authentic leadership


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) examines educator support to students who present with chronically challenging behaviours. Educators are experiencing an increase in the frequency and severity of interfering student behaviours affecting classroom learning, school climate, and educator mental well-being (RRDSB, 2018a, 2019b; Santor et al., 2019). Educators frequently disengage from these students and their discipline is managed by administration (RRDSB, 2019b). These students, often already members of marginalized communities (Bailey, 2015), are further marginalized by the use of exclusionary, punitive measures. This mandates a social justice framework that benefits from the moral dialogue evoked by transformative leadership (Shields, 2018). In conjunction, an ecological systems (Bronfenbrenner, 1977) approach that highlights student environment, in contrast to the culture of power and privilege of most educators (Delpit, 1988), is required. Nadler and Tushman’s (1989) Congruence Model highlights the gap between Board system values and lived experiences in schools. Reframing the faulty notion that challenging behaviour is a student choice (Greene, 2014b, 2016; Levinsky, 2016) and reframing the purpose of education as human development (Tranter et al., 2018) for a socially just world (Weiner, 2003) is foundational to implementation. The OIP uses the Change Path Model (Cawsey et al., 2016) as the blueprint upon which to layer a plan that addresses educator mindset and skill development. The use of Hord et al.’s (1987) Concerns Based Adoption Model to value educator emotion and fidelity of practice compliments an authentic and adaptive leadership approach.