Leadership for Learning: School and System Contexts

Fully Online Delivery

Leadership for Learning: School and System Contexts is a program option within the Master of Education (MEd), Specialist route. Visit the Master of Education, Specialist Route page for complete MEd details including fees

School and District leaders are faced with enormous challenges as they work towards achieving a vision of excellence for all students. Building educational leadership competencies required in rapidly changing, technologically rich, and inclusive schooling contexts is the focus of the Leadership for Learning: School and System Contexts Program.

This topic will explore and examine the competencies and approaches leaders can utilize to foster effective relationships, model commitment to professional learning, embody visionary leadership, lead a learning community, enable First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success, provide instructional leadership, develop leadership capacity, manage school and district operations and resources, understand and respond to the larger societal context, and support effective governance. The Werklund School of Education addresses these through integrating research and practical knowledge and linking leadership theories with systematic inquiry in relation to the competencies.

The program will be of interest to current and aspiring leaders and will enable graduates to apply to Alberta Education for:

Leadership Certification
Superintendent Leadership Certification


Program Goals:

  • Develop professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions that integrate both practical and research knowledge and link theory with systematic inquiry in relation to the expectations for school leaders in Alberta as detailed in the Leadership Quality Standard (Alberta Education, 2018a) and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (Alberta Education, 2018b).
  • Emphasize nine school leadership competencies: fostering effective relationships, modeling commitment to professional learning, embodying visionary leadership, leading a learning community, supporting the application of foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit, providing instructional leadership, developing leadership capacity, managing school operations and resources, and understanding and responding to the larger societal context.
  • Emphasize seven district leadership competencies: building effective relationships modeling commitment to professional learning, visionary leadership, leading learning, ensuring First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education for all students, school authority operations and resources and supporting effective governance.
  • Develop a critical, systematic, and research informed knowledge base within the larger field of educational leadership.
  • Engage in the scholarship of leadership, teaching, and learning through reflexive processes of research informing practice and practice informing research.
  • Review, critically analyze, and report on educational research literature using a range of academic writing genres to make informed practice and policy decisions.

Year 1

EDER 619.13 L08 (Summer 2022 - 1046) Educational Leadership: An Introduction
EDER 619.22 L09 (Summer 2022 - 1067) Leading Student Learning 

EDER 619.19 L01 (Fall 2022 - 2973) Quality Teaching

EDER 619.23 L03 (Winter 2023 -2331) School Leadership
EDER 619.24 L04 (Winter 2023 -2549) Leading Professional Learning

EDER 602 L01 (Spring 2022 -1474) Program & Practice Evaluation

Year 2

EDER 619.25 L10 (Summer 2022 - 1083) Leading and Advancing Learning Organizations
EDER 619.26 L11 (Summer 2022 - 1084) Leading through Policy, Governance, and Community

EDER 600 L08 (Fall 2022 - 5637) Research Methodology in Education

EDER 619.12 L02 (Winter 2023 - 2330) Leading an Evidence-Informed Learning Culture
EDER 604 L08 (Winter 2023 - 3959) Collaboratory of Practice

EDER 606 L08 (Spring 2022 - 1472) Writing Educational Research

Course Descriptions

Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L.

Course Delivery

All courses in this cohort will be offered fully online. These courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. There are typically no more than 5 sessions over a 13-week term (Fall and Winter) and fewer over a 6-week term (Spring and Summer).

Additional information regarding online delivery

Online Delivery eLearning website.

3 units per course

EDER 619.13 Educational Leadership: An Introduction

Through examination of foundational works in educational administration and leadership will focus on three themes. The evolution of key ideas, scholarship, and research in the field is a primary consideration. Thoughtfully considering a range of current leadership perspectives, constructs and theories constitute the course's second theme. The third theme bridges theory and practice while providing opportunities for exploration and understanding leadership identities and competencies within the complexities of current organizations, institutions and communities.

EDER 619.22 Leading Student Learning

This course focuses on instructional strategies that engage students through challenging and authentic learning experiences. Exploring the importance and practices of ensuring alignment of curriculum outcomes, learning experiences, and assessment including pedagogies that enable First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success. Particular attention will be paid to the theoretical and practical aspects of providing instructional leadership and leading student learning, professional learning, and understanding Indigenous knowledge, learning, and theory.

EDER 619.19 Quality Teaching

Through engagement with educational research on teacher growth, supervision and evaluation, and critical reflection on teaching practices, students will deepen their understanding of what it means to lead teaching in a range of contexts. In addition to the literature on quality teaching and frameworks for effective teaching, students will consider the research on student engagement, formative assessment and the learning sciences along with advances in our understanding of technological, pedagogical and content knowledge.

EDER 619.23 School Leadership

Course content will address leadership competencies of effective relationships, visionary leadership, leading a learning community, and advancing First Nations, Métis and Inuit foundational knowledge in schools and districts, instructional leadership, developing leadership capacity, managing school operations and resources, and understanding and responding to the larger societal context.

EDER 619.24 Leading Professional Learning

Research informed leadership practices that promote professional learning to improve student outcomes form the foundation of this course. Topics include: professional learning and professional 21 development, adult learning theory, capacity building, mentorship, and creating collaborative cultures. This course focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of providing instructional leadership, leading a learning community, modelling a commitment to professional learning, developing leadership capacity and fostering effective relationships.

EDER 602 Program and Practice Evaluation

The primary focus of the course is program evaluation rather than the assessment of individuals (for example, the measurement of student achievement or personnel review). The course focuses on developing an understanding of the logic of evaluative thinking, the nature of evaluation as a profession and discipline, the knowledge and skills needed to be expert consumers of program evaluation and novice evaluators in contexts relevant to individual career contexts. 

EDER 619.25 Leading and Advancing Learning Organizations

This course explores the systemic and social complexities in leading learning organizations. Drawing on current research and emerging paradigms in system level leadership, participants will critically analyze the enduring responsibilities and disruptive possibilities of the dual role of educational and executive leadership. Particular attention will be paid to the theoretical and practical aspects of visionary leadership, building effective relationships, leading learning, and school authority operations and resources.

EDER 619.26 Leading through Policy, Governance, and Community

This course addresses the macro and micro relations and structures surrounding school systems and their potential as dynamic platforms for leadership. Drawing on research and contemporary educational contexts and calls to action participants will examine transparent, equitable, inclusive, and collaborative leadership that results in optimum learning for students. Particular attention will be paid to theoretical and practical aspects of supporting effective governance, modeling commitment to professional learning and ensuring First Nations, Métis and Inuit education for all students.

EDER 600 Research Methodology in Education

The course focuses on some of the issues and dilemmas that frame the context for contemporary research, and guides participants in a preliminary consideration of research strategies, questions and methods. This course includes a discussion of action research in education as a pragmatic way to integrate various methods in one school based research project. Participants will also be encouraged to approach research articles and reports with a critical perspective and develop some skills and techniques for this kind of close reading

EDER 619.12 Leading an Evidence-Informed Learning Culture

This course explores the leadership required to establish a collaborative, inclusive, and evidence-informed learning culture. Participants will reflect on their dual role as researcher and practitioner and will also consider the ethical ways data is shared and used in classroom, schools, and systems to ensure optimum teaching and learning. The ways in which leaders foster effective relationships, provide instructional leadership, lead a learning community, and respond to the larger societal context will be considered.

EDER 604 Collaboratory of Practice

Collaboratory of Practice represent a fusion of two important development in contemporary research: communities of practice and collaboratories. A collaboratory is a new networked organizational form involving structured experiences of authentic, real-world practice which serve as sources of active inquiry and professional learning. This course provides opportunities for individuals or groups to investigate real world problems and to devise or recommend pragmatic solutions suitable to their contexts.

EDER 606 Writing Educational Research

This course will focus on examining and developing the skills associated with crafting an academic paper. Topics will include genres and purposes of academic writing, and venues for presentation and publication. An acceptable paper- whether intended for an academic or a professional audience, and whether a research report or a theoretical-philosophical argument – takes a clearly defined topic or idea, situates it in the current literature, and supports it with a well-structured discussion.

Have Questions?

Graduate Program Administrator

Shelley Enderton

Academic Program Coordinator

Dr. Donald Scott

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