School Leadership

School Leadership is a program option within the Master of Education (MEd), Interdisciplinary route. Visit the MEd, Interdisciplinary Route page for complete MEd details including fees

This graduate topic in the MEd Interdisciplinary program is designed for aspiring and current learning, curriculum and school leaders within the K-12 educational system. Multiple approaches to leadership are considered within the current context of schooling with consideration of contemporary trends and emerging issues. The focus is on evidence informed leadership practices that enhance student learning through attention to quality teaching and assessment, the ethic of care, inclusion and the thoughtful leveraging of learning technology. Courses integrate research and practical knowledge and link leadership theory to practice and consider a range of pragmatic strategies designed to provide a solution-oriented approach to instructional leadership in contemporary schools. 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, support the application of foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit, provide instructional leadership, develop leadership capacity, manage school operations and resources, and understand and respond to the larger societal context.

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

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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Investigate, understand, and resolve complex problems of leadership practice.
  • Conceptualize, design, and conduct disciplined inquiry and/or field-focused action research.
  • Demonstrate collaboration, communication, knowledge-building, and leadership skills.

Program Schedule

Term 1 - Summer

Summer 2020
EDER 619.22 L15 (50142)
Leading Student Learning

Term 1 - Summer

Summer 2020
EDER 619.11 L16 (50143)
Contemporary Leadership Perspectives and Practices

Term 2 - Fall

Fall 2020
EDER 619.90 L07 (74393)
Leading for Enhanced Capacity

Term 3 - Winter

Winter 2021
EDER 619.12 L10 (14299)
Leading an Evidence-Informed Learning Culture

Course Descriptions

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

Course Delivery

Courses in this program are offered fully online. 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. For additional information regarding online delivery, refer to the Online Delivery eLearning website.


3 units per course

EDER 619.22 Leading Student Learning

This course focuses on expanding leaders’ knowledge of and expertise in instructional strategies that engage students through challenging and authentic learning experiences. It explores 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.

EDER 619.92 Contemporary Leadership Perspectives and Practices

This course examines leadership theories and their place in today’s educational landscapes. It explores how leaders develop strategies that foster innovation and sustainable improvement in schools, and how they lead within broad societal directions and local challenges and imperatives. Particular attention will be paid to the theoretical and practical aspects of fostering effective relationships, embodying visionary leadership, understanding and responding to the larger societal context, and advancing First Nations, Métis and Inuit foundational knowledge in schools and districts.

EDER 619.90 Leading for Enhanced Capacity

This course investigates how leaders work to build instructional and leadership capacities in self and others. Drawing on current research on teacher growth, supervision and evaluation, it explores school leadership as planned, contextual, and responsive. It also examines the ways in which leaders create the conditions that encourage collective professional growth and continuous learning on behalf of student success.

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.

Have Questions?

Graduate Program Administrator (GPA)

Shelley Enderton

Academic Coordinator

Dr. Jaime Beck

Ready to Apply?

Applications are open November 1 - March 1. All students apply for admission through the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Please note that topics are offered yearly and subject to change.

Learn more about applying