The work of school administrators in changing times

Year: 2001

Author: Wallace, Janice

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

My paper is based on research conducted in two Canadian provinces: Ontario and British Columbia. Ontario has been led by a neo-conservative government and British Columbia a "third-way" socialist government during a time of massive educational restructuring. Interviews with school administrators and leaders of teacher unions and professional organisations demonstrate that several converging factors are transforming the role of educational administrators. First, a performative ethos has moved the work of administrators away from leadership and towards management. Second, the separation of bargaining units for administrators and teachers has exacerbated work divisions and made it more difficult for administrators to provide instructional leadership. Third, entry level positions are increasingly unattractive for potential candidates because principals are being positioned politically between Ministries of Education who are cutting resources, boards who are being asked to do more with much less, and teachers who have had their work load increased while professional autonomy has been decreased. My research provides a comparative analysis of the following two questions: 1) How is the role of educational administrators being transformed by post-modern social, political, and economic conditions in Ontario and British Columbia; and 2) How are these changes affecting the work of women in school administration.