Comparative and critical analysis of competency standards for school principals: Towards an inclusive and equity perspective in Québec

Julie Larochelle-Audet, Marie-Odile Magnan, Maryse Potvin, Emmanuelle Doré


This article presents the results of a comparative and critical study of the competency standards of Québec school administrators compared with seven other education systems within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). An inductive-type analysis has made it possible to identify the social categories targeted in the standards, the vision of school leaders as well as the competencies that are likely to help advance educational and societal goals of equity, inclusion, and social justice. Three contrasting perspectives emerge from this analysis. In Australia, California, and the United States, principals are explicitly encouraged to take action against structures and practices that undermine the educational success and social recognition of minority groups. In British Columbia and New Zealand, statements about social diversity focus more on the transformation of individual practices. Finally, in the standards of England, Texas and Québec, only a few generic statements referring to the differentiated needs of students and their success have been identified. They are instead characterized by a managerial approach oriented toward results that are measurable and cost controlled. In conclusion, a more in-depth analysis of the Québec standards opens the door to a new competency model and recommendations.


Principal Competencies; inclusion; equity; social justice; comparative analysis; Western countries

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Copyright (c) 2019 Julie Larochelle-Audet, Marie-Odile Magnan, Maryse Potvin, Emmanuelle Doré


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