Dr. Dawn C. Wallin

August 20, 2014 8:12 PM
















Understanding Canadian Schools: An Introduction to Educational Administration (5th Edition)




Young, L., Levin, B., & Wallin, D. (2014). Understanding Canadian schools: An Introduction to Educational Administration (5th ed.). Available at http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wallind/understandingcanadianschools5.html.


Everyone has some understanding of what schools are about. The purpose of this book is to build on and extend readers’ understanding of the way Canadian schools have come to operate, and to challenge our thinking about why they are the way they are.

Two basic ideas have driven the writing of the book. First, we are fundamentally more concerned with ideas and issues than with facts (although the two are obviously mutually dependent). Second, we believe that the design of schools should not be left only to those people referred to as “administrators,” but is an important concern of everyone interested in education, including teachers, students, parents, and many others. Attempting to incorporate these ideas in a text that is broad in coverage, combines a broad overview with sufficient detail, has a Canadian focus, and is also interesting to students and teachers has taxed our skills!

Our approach to references has been to try to focus on what we consider to be the most important work in a given area, with special attention to current Canadian scholarship. However, we have undoubtedly omitted work by Canadians and others that another author might see as vital. Again, we urge readers to look for themselves, and to approach all readings critically.

In each edition of this book we have updated the data and many of the references in order to provide current Canadian sources and material. However we have also included older examples and references where those materials continue to have relevance to the points being made.

We also acknowledge that because we have updated this book online ourselves, this edition has not benefitted from commercial copy-editing. If there are editorial issues noted, please contact Dr. Dawn C. Wallin so that we can clean up any errors.

No book can be written without the participation and assistance of many people. So many people have helped with the book, or influenced the ideas that are found in it, that a list of thanks will inevitably miss someone who was important; we can only apologize for any oversights. However we particularly want to thank our colleagues at the University of Manitoba, and in other universities, whose work has helped shape our thinking through all the editions of this book. We hope that our efforts have met their expectations, at least in part.

Special thanks go to our students at the University of Manitoba. Every time we teach a course our students end up teaching us about learning and education. We thank them.

Finally, we express our thanks and our love to our families—parents, partners, and children—whose support, past and present, makes our work possible.

Jon Young
Jon Young is a professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Foundations and Psychology. A former high school Social Studies teacher, his research interests are in the areas of equity and public schooling and teacher education.

Benjamin Levin
Benjamin Levin served as deputy minister of education for the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. He was a Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at OISE/University of Toronto. He has written several books and numerous articles on education, and has also served as a senior civil servant in education in Manitoba as well as Ontario. He was an elected school board member in Manitoba at age 19.

Dawn Wallin
Dawn Wallin is a professor of the Department of Educational Administration, Foundations and Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She has served as president of the Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration and the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education. Her major research interests include educational administration, rural education and women in leadership.