Date of Submission

6-22-2018

Embargo

6-22-2018

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

Keywords

teacher capacity building, mathematics, school reform, shared leadership, transformational leadership, coaching

Abstract

Current instructional approaches to mathematics are not meeting the diverse needs of students in Ontario. In response to steadily declining mathematics performance, the Ontario Ministry of Education released a Renewed Math Strategy geared towards addressing the gap in achievement. The position of mathematics lead teacher was created as part of this strategy. These teacher leaders are expected to devise plans for improvement initiatives relevant to their respective school sites. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) explores the problem of practice where the mathematics lead teacher wishes to facilitate the implementation of problem-based learning in mathematics at an Ontario elementary school. Problem-based learning is a pedagogical approach characterized by student-led learning through teacher facilitation and solving real-world, open-ended and open-entry problems. Perspectives on the problem are gained through analysis of current practices, school board procedures and organizational culture. External and internal forces for change are assessed to establish momentum. Transformational and shared leadership approaches to change leadership, and possible solutions are considered to address this problem. Kotter’s 8-Stage Model for change is used to create a change implementation plan, guide communication and to evaluate and monitor the change process. The proposed solution incorporates SILC, a Plan, Act, Observe and Reflect cycle, collaborative inquiry and team teaching guided by the mathematics lead teacher and school administration. Ethical consideration and possible next steps are outlined in this OIP. It is proposed that if implemented, this OIP will successfully support teachers through the implementation of problem-based learning, leading to improved student learning outcomes.

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