Associate Professor


I am originally from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, and became a Canadian citizen while earning my Ph.D in educational administration at OISE, the University of Toronto. My research interests include educational leadership and administration, social justice and diversity, educational policy and organizational studies, international and comparative education, and research methodologies. Specifically, my research involves four interrelated areas: a) principals’ strategic leadership through the philosophical teachings of The Art of War; b) principals’ role and their subversive leadership; c) leadership and administration in cross-cultural contexts (e.g., offshore schools) in transnational education; and d) the changing nature of school principals’ work, particularly, their work intensification and health and well-being. The above research is supported by research grants and contracts from a number of funding organizations, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Mitacs-Accelerate. I have worked closely with several organizations, such as the British Columbia Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association (BCPVPA), the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), L’Association des Directions et Directions Adjointes des Écoles Franco-Ontariennes (ADFO), Mitacs, and Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Currently, I supervise graduate students’ research on educational leadership and administration, policy studies, and comparative education.


University of Toronto, 2011, Ph.D
Lakehead University, 2006, M.Ed
Tsinghua University, 2002, LLB
Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities, 1998, BA

Research Projects

Principals’ Subversive Practice: A Preliminary Study Completed
September, 2014August, 2016

UBC Hampton Junior Award

This study aims to investigate how school principals employ subversive strategies to question entrenched power structures and to transform policies, procedures, and practices that are counterproductive with regard to the wellbeing of students.

Secondary School Principals’ Understanding of Work Intensification Current
May, 2016March, 2022

SSHRC Insight Grant

This study seeks to provide an in-depth examination of secondary school principals’ work intensification, building understandings of why work intensification is emerging in the secondary principal workforce, how this work intensification is manifesting itself, and how principals are acting in response to the resulting challenges. Research results are available below:

Wang, F. & Pollock, K. (2020). Principals’ work and well-being in British Columbia (BC one-pager):

  • Booklet #1 Work intensification of principals. (PDF)
  • Booklet #2 Wellbeing of school principals. (PDF)
  • Booklet #3 Health and safety. (PDF)
  • Booklet #4 Coping strategies. (PDF)

Pollock, K. & Wang, F. (2020). Principals’ work and well-being in Ontario (ON one-pager):

  • Booklet #1 Work intensification of principals. (PDF)
  • Booklet #2 Wellbeing of school principals. (PDF)
  • Booklet #3 Health and safety. (PDF)
  • Booklet #4 Coping strategies. (PDF)
B.C. Offshore Schools in China: A Case Study Current
May, 2016May, 2017

HSS Seed Grant

This case study looks into some pressing issues concerning current B.C. offshore schools in China, in particular how Canadian values and educational objectives play out in a Chinese context and how they influence teaching and learning, leadership and governance from principals’, teachers’, and students’ perspectives.

Subversive Leadership and The Art of War Current
June, 2016November, 2020

SSHRC Insight Development Grant

This research seeks to better understand subversiveness through which school leaders seek to transform policies and practices that they perceive as socially unjust. Specifically, through the lens of The Art of War, the project aims to a) define subversiveness in a political, moral, and intellectual sense in relation to school leadership, b) examine how principals perceive and exercise subversiveness, c) identify the possibilities and limits of subversiveness in changing the political procedure or power dynamics at both societal and organizational levels, and d) highlight professional and personal experiences of subversive actions.

B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Health and Wellbeing and Their Coping Strategies: A Pilot Study Current
June, 2018June, 2019

SSHRC Explore

This pilot study will look into some pressing issues concerning principals and VPs’ health and wellbeing in B.C., in particular how principals and VPs perceive their health and wellbeing and what strategies they use to cope with their health-related concerns.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles:

  • Pollock, K., Wang, F., & Mahfouz, J. (2020). School administrators’ well-being and mindfulness: Three tensions. Journal of Educational Administration (special issue), 5. DOI:10.1108/JEA-05-2020-0108.
  • Wang, F. (2019). Principals’ self- and interpersonal leadership amid work intensification. Journal of School Leadership, 1-32, DOI: 10.1177/1052684620935383.
  • Pollock, K., Wang, F., & Hauseman, D. C. (2019). Proactively mitigating school leaders’ emotionally draining situations. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy (CJEAP)/CASEA Journal of Cases, 190, 40-48
  • Wang, F. (2018). Social justice leadership: Theory and practice – A case in Ontario. Educational Administration Quarterly, 54(3), 470-498. doi: 10.1177/0013161X18761341
  • Wang, F. (2018). Subversive leadership and power tactics. Journal of Educational Administration, 56(4), 1-25.
  • Wang, F., Pollock, K., & Hauseman, C. (2018). School principals’ job satisfaction: The effect of work intensification in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 185, 73-90.
  • Stack, M., & Wang, F. (2018). Students’ perception of belonging: A photo voice action research. Canadian Journal of Action Research, 19(1), 63-82.
  • Wang, F. (2017). Social injustices in schools: Principals’ perception. Journal of Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, 13(1), 1-9.
  • Wang, F. (2017). Social justice leadership and The Art of War. Journal of Critical Studies in Education. doi:10.1080/17508487.2017.1327877.
  • Wang, F. (2017). Canadian offshore schools in China: A comparative policy analysis. Journal of Educational Policy. 1-19. doi: 10.1080/02680939.2017.1303545.
  • Wang, F. (2017). The Ontario quandary: Principals’ perceptions of accountability policy and social justice. Journal of School Leadership, 27(3), 392-423.
  • Hauseman, D. C., Pollock, K., & Wang, F. (2017). Inconvenient, but essential: Impact and influence of school-community involvement on principals’ work and workload. School Community Journal, 27(1), 83-105.
  • Wang, F. (2016). Leadership as a subversive activity: Principals’ perception. International Journal of Leadership in Education. doi: 10.1080/13603124.2016.1259507.
  • Wang, F. (2016). From redistribution to recognition: How school principals perceive social justice. Journal of Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15(3), pp. 1-20. (Editor’s choice of article)
  • Wang, F. (2016). The lived experiences of Canadian-born and foreign-born Chinese-Canadian students in Northern Ontario. Journal of International Students, 6(2), pp. 451-477.
  • Wang, F. (2015). Conceptualizing social justice: Interviews with principals. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(5), pp. 667-681.
  • Pollock, K., Wang, F., Hauseman, D. C. (2015). Complexity and volume: An inquiry into factors that drive principals’ work. Societies, 5, pp. 537-565. doi:10.3390/soc5020537
  • Wang, F. (2013). Educational equity in the access to post-secondary education: A comparison of ethnic minorities in China with aboriginals in Canada. Journal of Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, 44(1), pp.45-62. doi: 10.1007/s10780-013-9196-9.

Technical Reports:

Book Chapters & Reviews:

  • Wang, F., Pollock, K., & Hauseman, D. C. (2018). Ontario principals’ and vice-principals’ well-being and coping strategies in the context of work intensification. In S. Cherkowski, and K. Walker. (Eds.), Perspectives on Flourishing Schools, Lexington Books.
  • Pollock, K., Wang, F., & Hauseman, D. C. (2017). Complexity and volume: An inquiry into factors that drive principals’ work. In K. Leithwood, J. Sun and K. Pollock (Eds.), How school leaders contribute to student success (pp. 209-238). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.
  • Wang, F. (2015). Why is the issue of accountability important for educational leaders? In D. Griffiths, J. Portelli, (eds). Key Questions for Educational Leaders (pp. 39-44), Word & Deed Publishing Incorporated & Edphil Books: Ontario, Canada.
  • Wang, F. (2015). Review of the book Controversies in education: Orthodoxy and heresy in policy and practice, by H. Proctor, P. Brownless, & P. Freebody. Journal of Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15(3), pp. 1-3.

Digital Publications:

Professional Journals:

  • Pollock, K., & Wang, F. (2020). Principal wellbeing: Strategies and coping mechanisms in times of uncertainty. OPC Register, Ontario Principals’ Council, Toronto, ON., Canada.
  • Pollock, K., Wang, F., & Hauseman, D., (2017). Vice-principals’ work: More than being an instructional leader. OPC Register: Leading Mentally Healthy Schools, 19(3), 20-24. Ontario Principals’ Council, Toronto, ON., Canada.
  • Pollock, K., Wang, F., & Hauseman, D., (2014). Efforts to be an instructional leader: The changing nature of principals’ work. OPC Register, 16(3), 1-5. Ontario Principals’ Council, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Courses Taught

EDST 577: The social context of educational policy

EDST 581:  Leadership, administration, and the aims of education

EDST 582: The study of organizations in educational contexts

EDST 532: Leadership in educational organizations

EDST 550: The role of the school principal

EDST 501: Research methods

EDST 553: Group inquiry