Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Community Engagement, Dialogic Change, Compassionate Systems Awareness, Transforming Curriculum, Decolonizing Education, Reflexive Praxis


The International Baccalaureate (IB) mandates community engagement (CE; otherwise known as service learning) throughout its continuum; however, there is confusion around epistemological approaches, strategies, and methodologies. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) aims to support educators in developing a praxis-based CE program at an independent IB school in Western Canada. It is inspired by a problem of practice that exists at Hope Mountain School (HMS), where there is currently no coherent framework to guide CE development through ethical and sustainable approaches. Critical/post-critical theoretical approaches ground the OIP’s inquiry process supported by sociotransformative constructivist and ecocentric worldviews. Systemic tensions between HMS, IB programs, and the provincial curriculum are discussed, and HMS’s culture and vision are analyzed in relation to CE epistemology as focused through dialogic change processes. A tripartite model of ensemble, compassionate systems, and reflexive leadership supports systems change, and cycles of community-based participatory action research promote reflexive praxis and contextual intelligence. The change model positions research, purpose, intentionality, critical thinking, and participatory conversations as necessary for change implementation, and this model is deepened through an exploration of collaborative strategies for community wellbeing. Solutions are measured against the concepts of compassionate collaboration, leadership capacity, and deeper learning, with the chosen solution focusing on a continuum-wide approach to change. Equitable and decolonizing approaches to knowledge mobilization and evaluation are presented with the aim to increase inclusion, leadership capacity, and agency.