Spring 2024 - EDUC 962 G031

Leadership, Accountability and the Public Interest (5)

Class Number: 5528

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



The special responsibilities of leaders in educational institutions for accountability both to learners and to the wider community with respect to policies, practices and programs are the focus of this seminar. Contemporary approaches to program assessment and to ensuring cost-effectiveness in educational management are applied to cases emerging from student experience.



Name: Dr Brian Lewthwaite
Phone: 867-689-2767
Email: Lewthwaite@xtra.co.nz
Office Hours: by appointment
Profile URL: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Brian-Lewthwaite, https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/view/jcu/F50B8DF5A40A60BEFB293EBAA4EFF07A.html

This course is restricted to students in the Yukon EdD cohort program


Jan 12/13, 26/27

Feb 9/10, 23/24

Mar 8/9


Fridays: 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Saturdays: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM


Stephen Ball, a British Professor in Educational Policy, states (2014) that:           

            Policies pose problems to their subjects. Problems that must be solved in   context. It may be possible for some to 'hide' from policy but that is rarely        a common option. Policy matters, and we cannot predict or assume how    they will be acted on, what their immediate effect will be, what room for    manoeuvre actors (such as educational leaders) will find for themselves.

In brief, policy can pose problems for people, especially educational leaders required to lead for policy implementation. As Ted Aoki (1986) asserts, educators operate in a 'tensioned' place, because we operate or dwell in a zone between two [policy] worlds: the worlds of [policy]-as-plan and [policy]-as-lived-experience.” Educators consider, adjust and recreate the intended [policy] in an effort to enact it in a manner consistent with their own beliefs and the environment in which they are situated (Pinar, 2000).

In this course we will examine the construct of 'policy', with emphasis on our historical and current context. The cohort 'dwells' in a variety of contexts and policy impacts on us significantly, with attention to emerging attention to First Peoples' education. Historically, policy development and associated programming and practice, as evidenced in policies such as the Indian Act, have had significant negative consequence on Canada's First Peoples. More recent policy developments such as Self-Governing Agreements have altered this pathway. As asserted by esteemed Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Elder Percy Henry, "in the past, education was very poor to us. We had no say. Now (with the actualization of our Self-Governing Agreement) we look for change on our terms" (Lewthwaite, 2014).  Our current social and educational landscape provides opportunity to understand policy development, past and present, and to consider our role within this context and possible research opportunities and approaches.  Commonly a doctoral dissertation will be located within a policy context, such as investigating a school's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Call for Action.

In this course doctoral candidates will:

  • identify policies in the current educational context;
  • demonstrate their knowledge of the construct of 'policy' and how policy impacts on past and current educational practice and programming, with attention to First Peoples;
  • develop a critical awareness of historical and contemporary policies impacting on educational settings, with attention to First Peoples;
  • understand the 'tensionality' for educators in enacting policy, from the perspective of an educational leader;
  • identify and investigate a policy, program and/or relevant to their current setting and critically articulate its origin and ramification for enactment;
  • develop a critical awarness of emerging policy, program and practice informed by various influences, such as Critical Pedagogy, Fiscal Accountability and Transformative Practices in Indigenous Education;
  • articulate a possible research approach to evaluate the effectiveness of policy and program implementation.

Policy areas to be addressed:

  • Historical and current policies impacting on Canada's First Peoples ( as examples: Gradual Assimilation Act, Indian Act, Together Today for our Children Tomorrow, Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, Self-Governing Agreements, Territorial and Provincial Curricula)
  • Inclusive and Special Education
  • Professionalism and Evaluation
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Curriculum
  • Fiscal implications of policy directives.


  • Policy or Program Analysis - Feb 10 40%
  • Peer Presentation - Mar 8, 9 20%
  • Research Proposal - Apr 12 40%



Ball, S. J. (2013). Foucault, power and education. New York, NY: Routledge.

Ball, S. J. (1993). What is policy? Texts, trajectories and toolboxes. Discourse, Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 13(2), 10–17.

Joseph, B. (2018). 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality. Ottawa: Indigenous Relations Press.

Lewthwaite, B., Wilson, K., Wallace, V., McGinty, S., and Swain, L. (2017) Challenging normative assumptions regarding disengaged youth: a phenomenological perspective. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30 (4). pp. 388-405.

Lewthwaite, B., Owen, T., and Doiron, A. (2015) Curriculum change and self-governing agreements: a Yukon First Nation case study. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 17 (3). pp. 37-55.

Lewthwaite, B. (2007) From school in community to a community-based school: the influence of an Aboriginal principal on culture-based school development. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy (64). pp. 1-18.

Lewthwaite, Brian, Owen, Thomas, Doiron, Ashley, McMillan, Barbara, and Renaud, Robert (2013) Our stories about teaching and learning: a pedagogy of consequences for Yukon First Nation settings. Interchange, 44 (1-2). pp. 105-128.


Aoki T., (1986), Teaching as indwelling between two curriculum worlds, in William Pinar and Rita Irwin (ed.), Curriculum in a new key: The collected works of Ted T. Aoki, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 159–165.

Aoki T., (1987), Revisiting the notions of leadership and identity, in William Pinar and Rita Irwin (ed.), Curriculum in a new key: The collected works of Ted T. Aoki, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 349–355.

Eisner E. W., (1979), The educational imagination, New York: Macmillan.

Pinar W., (2000), Curriculum studies: The reconceptualization, New York: Educator's International Press.

Pinar, W. F., (2004), What is curriculum theory?, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Stake R., (1995), The art of case research, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.