Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




belonging, equity, constructive-developmental theory, self-determination, grassroots innovation, educational leadership


Educational leadership has roots in neocolonial epistemologies and a functionalist paradigm. While Atman Jnana School Board (a pseudonym) has made a commitment to equity by recognizing the need for communities of belonging, leaders unconsciously lean toward the individual over the collective as imparted by these epistemologies and paradigm. Therefore, the problem of practice under investigation is the development of educational leaders’ capacity to create communities of belonging and purpose. As principals and vice-principals are pivotal to transforming school culture, this organizational improvement plan proposes addressing the problem of practice by creating a community of belonging with school leaders who want to engage in a process of unlearning, learning, relearning, and co-learning educational leadership. The visceral experience of engaging in this personal and systemic metamorphosis can lead to understanding the process of co-creation so it can be scaled and spread. The implementation of the selected solution requires blending servant and authentic leadership styles, with a strong focus on constructive-developmental theory. This plan proposes that leaders’ identity development in places of belonging and connection leads to the district’s identity development in a similar vein. Grassroots methodology as a form of discreet activism and self-determination will free leaders to see systems and contexts through a new lens. The change path model can be overlaid with the plan-do-study-act cycle for ongoing monitoring, assessment, and improvement. The application of a critical worldview, transformative paradigm, and anti-oppression lens will serve as an ongoing reminder to centre the voices of equity-deserving groups, without undue emotional labour, at the design stage and throughout the process.