Promoting Equity in Contexts of Work Intensification: A Principal’s Challenge

  • Stephanie Tuters OISE/UT
  • Jim Ryan OISE/University of Toronto
Keywords: Educational Leadership, Work Intensification, Social Justice, Neoliberalism, Principals


This case describes the experience of a principal named Jade working in a diverse school in South Central Ontario. A teacher in Jade’s school had been confronted by parents and a school board trustee for reading a book to their class about a family with two moms. The teacher eventually decided to switch schools, no longer feeling safe or welcome in the school. Jade would have liked to be more involved in the issue, but given her mounting workload found it difficult to devote as much time as she would have liked. This case is a starting point for discussion with educational leaders and teachers about the challenges of leading and teaching for social justice in a context where many are experiencing work intensification.

Author Biographies

Stephanie Tuters, OISE/UT
Stephanie is a research, writer, and educator in the areas of educational leadership, policy, and practices that help and hinder equity and social justice.
Jim Ryan, OISE/University of Toronto
Jim Ryan is a professor in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) and is co-director of the Centre for Leadership and Diversity (CLD). He teaches in the Educational Administration program. Jim came from Lakehead University in 1991 where he was involved in teacher education and graduate studies. He has taught and administered in an aboriginal school in a northern Canadian community and in other schools. His interests are reflected in recent publications and current research activities. They include, among others: leadership in diverse school communities, inclusion, philosophy and theory in educational administration, research methods, social and critical and postmodern theory, aboriginal education, and various organizational approaches to schooling.