Date of Submission

8-27-2018

Embargo

7-3-2018

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

Keywords

Indigenous, off-reserve, hegemonic practices, color-blindness, meritocracy, social justice, cultural proficiency, transformative leadership, strategic activism

Abstract

This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) is directed toward leveraging the position of the school principal toward changing hegemonic practices within a small rural school division that includes practices of meritocracy (hard work equals success) and color-blindness (refusing to see color in others) . These practices affect the academic achievement of the off-reserve Indigenous student- considered a provincial student by virtue of moving off reserve- thus receiving education from the provincial rather than federal, government. These students bring strong epistemologies and ontologies that are not currently acknowledged or employed by the dominant society and should be explored to determine how best to accommodate this group of marginalized students. This entails a social justice imperative to champion for the disadvantaged, marginalized and othered in a small, rural school division. Furthermore, culturally proficient leadership is explored as one way to advocate for this group of students through the creation of culturally proficient schools, led by culturally proficient leaders who value students because of their diversity rather than in spite of it. Both transformational and transformative leadership are considerations for building staff capacity to address dominant practices within these schools. This plan explores underlying causes that obfuscate the successful achievement of this group of students as demonstrated by lack of high academic achievement and high social emotional success, as measured by provincial assessment data. Social justice leadership, cultural proficiency and transformational and transformative leadership are areas of exploration as possible solutions to address the lack of achievement of this group of students.

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