Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




collaboration, team leadership, instructional leadership, professional development community, mission statement, private school


In pursuit of continuous rather than episodic change, this organizational improvement plan uses Kotter’s (2014) framework for organizational change, embedded within the PDSA cycle, to create a professional development community at the school. The school’s mission is focused on citizenship, but implementation is still an area of action. The compliance culture at the school and the dominant transactional leadership approach have influenced the enactment of the school’s mission throughout the various high school departments. Using a conceptual framework adapted from Hackman’s (2002) framework for building a collaborative environment, this improvement plan explores how a private school in Ontario can implement its mission statement despite the impact of the market neoliberal ideology on the school’s practices. The change initiative is grounded within the instructional leadership and team leadership frameworks and centers around two goals: (1) implementing a cross-curricular thematic approach to citizenship education and (2) creating a learning community at the school. Authentic implementation of a professional development community requires leadership commitment and an organizational context that emphasizes collaboration and supports teachers in giving explicit attention to citizenship as a cross-disciplinary issue. Monitoring and evaluating the change process allows the leadership team to determine if the desired state of the school has been attained. It is anticipated that a collaborative learning network would not only institutionalize the school’s mission in the teaching and learning practices, but it would set the stage for the school leadership to embed citizenship in its culture as teachers and leaders strive for continuous improvement and professional growth.