Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




systemness, alignment, coherence, equity, professional learning networks


The cultivation of systemness for enhanced equity, diversity and inclusivity at a mid-sized district school board in the province of Ontario is addressed. The development of shared mindsets regarding a small number of ambitious goals (system coherence) and the implementation of administrative processes such as policies, procedures, practices and protocols (system alignment) that support the optimization of the multi-year strategic plan may, at times, prove difficult to achieve, especially as it relates to bias awareness and critical consciousness, as well as ameliorated fairness and impartiality throughout the organization. Viewed constructively as an opportunity for organizational improvement towards enhanced equity, diversity and inclusivity, strategies to facilitate the elimination of all forms of discrimination and the removal of systemic barriers to learning are explored. A seven-step model for effective change management is utilized as the framework to lead the change process to address the lack of coherence and alignment between the key categories of the annual action plan for equity and anti-racism, and, the goal statements of the empowering equity priority of the multi-year strategic plan for the district. As a tool that utilizes a blend of face-to-face and digital interactions to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with colleagues, professional learning networks (PLNs) are the selected solution to address the problem of practice. PLNs are endorsed as an innovative, forward-thinking approach for knowledge mobilization and solution generation in public education (Briscoe et al., 2015; Trust et al., 2016; Whitby, 2013).

Keywords: systemness, alignment, coherence, equity, diversity, inclusivity, professional learning networks