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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19135

Title: Leadership Practices in Diverse Elementary School Communities: Reflections of Ten Principals Regarding the Literacy Learning of English Language Learning Students
Authors: St. Pierre, Veronica
Advisor: Cummins, James
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: elementary school leadership
English language learners
diversity
multicultural communities
Issue Date: 25-Feb-2010
Abstract: This thesis examined what means a group of elementary school principals in multicultural communities used to support and imporve the language learning of English Language Learning (ELL)students. In this thesis, multicultural communities are defined as urban schools which have a majority of students whose mother tongue is not English. Although they are challenged to value and honour the diversity of their school communities, these principals must also ensure that their teachers meet the mandated rigors of the Ontario curriculum, and that the students attain desired levels of achievement as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education. In an increasing number of schools in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) ELL students form a majority of the student population; yet this reality is barely acknowledged in provincial educational policy or in the professional education of Ontario's school principals. Nor has the educational research adequately addressed the challenges of educating ELL students over the past thirty-five years. The research literature on the characteristics, activities, and behaviour of effective school principals rarely mention their knowledge of other cultures and languages or their expertise related to ethnic and racial diversity. Semi-structured interviews were used to capture the responses of ten elementary school principals of multicultural school communities. The findings indicate that principals who were successful in leading multicultural school communities and improving the literacy achievement of ELL students had a deep understanding of literacy development; cultural needs of the community; and ESL issues. Although much of the leadership framework is similar to principalship in non-multicultural school communities, principals identified a number of leadership competencies that are particular to a diverse community. The findings have implications for the courses which prepare principals for these schools; the professional development of senior administrators; and the choice of personnel suitable for leadership roles in multicultural communities.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19135
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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