Framing leadership: Contributions and impediments to educational change

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In 1995, the International Centre for Educational Change and the Peel District Board of Education in Ontario, Canada initiated the Change Frames project to assist four secondary schools to build and sustain their ‘capacity’ to deal with the changing educational environment in Ontario. The Change Frames strategy required each school to analyse its unique context using each of seven frames – purpose, emotions, politics, structure, culture, learning and leadership. This article reviews the project through the ‘leadership’ lens. In particular, we study the leadership of the principals in the Change Frames schools over a three-year period that involved dramatic government-mandated changes to secondary education in Ontario. The article reports on interviews conducted with the four project school principals, a sample of staff members in 1997 and 1998, and focus group interviews conducted with staff members in each school in 1999. The analysis revealed that the project had been both helpful and problematic in all schools, that there were particular barriers to using some of the ideas, but that a great deal of learning about change had taken place through experience and reflection. Perhaps more significantly, the analysis has enabled the authors to suggest some tentative learnings about the relationships of leadership and change during turbulent times.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Leadership in Education