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Catholic High School Principals Situated in Alberta Micro-Markets

  • Author / Creator
    Davies, Troy A.
  • Some small communities in Alberta have a publicly-funded Catholic high school. The existence of more than one high school in a community and the ability to choose one’s school leads to the development of an educational market in which local high schools compete for students. The presence of this educational market has implications for how Catholic high school principals in these small communities do their job and understand the principalship. This interpretive inquiry used methodologies and conceptual tools influenced by philosophical hermeneutics to explore how Catholic high school principals in small Alberta communities understand and make sense of their role as enrolment managers within the marketized conditions in which they are situated. Semi-structured individual interviews were completed with five principals from different communities across the province. Findings derived from the conversations with participants led the researcher to developing three themes. First, principals perceived themselves as the guardians of the Catholic identity of the school and sought to ensure that in their local market the option they provided to students was an authentically Catholic one. Second, principals understood their role as being the lead salesperson for the school as they attempted to manage their enrolments and market-share. Third, principals felt they had a responsibility to create a wealth of opportunities for students that would be comparable to, or exceed, what was being offered at other schools in the market. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications the research may have for theory and practice as well as a discussion on how the understanding of the researcher changed as a result of completing the study.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3XS5JQ03
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Policy Studies
  • Specialization
    • Educational Administration and Leadership
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Spencer, Brenda (Educational Policy Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Da Costa, Jose (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Newton, Paul (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Peters, Frank (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Spencer, Brenda (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Ellis, Julia (Elementary Education)
    • McDonough, Graham (External - UVic: Curriculum & Instruction)