Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William Piland, EdD, Director; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD; Robert L. Infantino, EdD


age, Alberta (Canada), educational reform, gender, Leadership studies, perception, power school administration, trustees


The educational landscape in the province of Alberta is undergoing change. The government's agenda includes changes in funding, reducing the number of school jurisdictions and local school boards, the provincial appointment of superintendents, increasing school-based decision making and accountability, and increasing parent, community, and business involvement in the delivery of education. It is expected that these changes will be completed during 1997. Considering the climate of change in Alberta education, it is of paramount importance that in the implementation process, participants in the change recognize their personal power to operationalize what is proposed. Government legislation can demand compliance, but without the commitment of Alberta trustees, superintendents, principals, and school advisory council presidents, change in education may remain on paper only. Power, defined as the capacity to knowingly participate in change, provides the theoretical basis for the assessment of the perceived power in influencing change among Alberta trustees, superintendents, principals, and school advisory council presidents. The synergistic interrelation of the concepts of awareness, choice, freedom to act intentionally, and involvement in creating change constitutes the theory of power whereby human beings participate in the innovative creation of their reality. Assessing the degree of knowing participation in change of the groups selected may serve as an indicator of their commitment to change in the province of Alberta. The results of the study indicated that school advisory council presidents had the most perceived power, followed by principals and trustees. Superintendents felt the least power. The personal variables of age and gender influenced the awareness and choice of trustees. Female trustees were more aware of education change and recognized more choices than did male trustees. Older trustees felt more freedom to act intentionally than did their younger counterparts. The study also indicated that female principals were more aware of change than male principals. The institutional variables influencing the perceived power of the groups studied were size, type of jurisdiction, and position. Trustees in smaller jurisdictions felt less power than trustees in larger jurisdictions. Trustees in divisions felt less power than those in districts. School advisory council presidents felt more powerful in terms of choice than did superintendents.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access