Dr. Denise Armstrong

Professor (PhD), Department of Educational Studies

Dr. Denise Armstrong Professor (PhD), Faculty of Education, Brock University

St. Catharines, ON
Office: WH 177
905 688 5550 x5166

Dr. Armstrong has worked in K-20 institutions in Canada and the Caribbean in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. She is the author of Administrative Passages: Navigating the Transition from Teacher to Assistant Principal and co-author of: Working (with/out) the system: Educational Leadership, Micropolitics, and Social JusticeLeading and Mentoring for Educational Lives: Inviting Imaginative Acts of Hope in a Connected World; and Inclusion in Urban Educational Environments: Addressing Issues of Diversity, Equity and Social Justice. She also co-edits two book series.

  • Personal, professional, and organizational change and transition
  • Educational leadership
  • Vice­-Principal and principal transitions
  • Administrative socialization
  • Student engagement
  • Equity
  • Leadership for social justice
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Education
  • American Educational Research Association
  • University Council for Educational Administration
  • Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration


Ryan, J., & Armstrong, D. (2016). Working (with/out) the system: Educational leadership, micropolitics, and social justice. Charlotte: NC: Information Age.

Novak, J., Armstrong, D., & Browne, B. (2014). Leading and mentoring for educational lives: Inviting imaginative acts of hope in a connected world. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense.

Contributions to Peer-Refereed Edited Books

Armstrong, D., & McMahon, B. (2017). Series editors’ preface. In Kristina Valtierra, Teach & thrive: Wisdom from an urban teacher’s career narrative. Charlotte: NC: Information Age.

Armstrong, D., & McMahon, B. (2016). Series editors’ preface. In J. Ryan & D. Armstrong (Eds.), Working (with/out) the system: Educational leadership, micropolitics, and social justice (pp. vii-viii)Charlotte: NC: Information Age. 

Ryan, J., & Armstrong, D. (2016). Introduction. In J. Ryan & D. Armstrong (Eds.), Working (With/out) the system: Educational leadership, micropolitics, and social justice (pp. xi-xxi)Charlotte: NC: Information Age. 

Tuters, S., & Armstrong, D. (2016).  Ethical implications of using micropolitics to achieve social justice aims: School leaders’ perspectives. In J. Ryan & D. Armstrong (Eds.), Working (with/out) the system: Educational leadership, micropolitics, and social justice (pp. 45-65)Charlotte: NC: Information Age. 

McMahon, B., & Armstrong, D. (2015). Unpacking replicative and transformative approaches to social justice in Canada and the United States: Administrators’ perspectives. In J. Brooks & M. Brooks (Eds.), Urban leadership for social justice (pp. 185-207).  Charlotte, NC: Information Age. 

Armstrong, D., & McMahon, B. (2014).  Developing socially just leaders: Integrative antiracist approaches in a transformational paradigm.  In A. Normore & N. Erbe (Eds.), Collective efficacy: Interdisciplinary perspectives on international leadership (pp. 23-39)London, UK: Emerald.

Journal Articles

Armstrong, D., & Mitchell, C. (2017). Shifting identities: Negotiating intersections of race and gender in Canadian administrative contexts. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 1–17.

Armstrong, D., & Woloshyn, V. (2017). Exploring the tensions and ambiguities of university department chairs. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 47(1), 97-113.

Mitchell, C., Armstrong. D., & Hands, C. (2017). “Oh, is that my job?” Role vulnerability in the vice-principalship. International Studies in Educational Administration45(1), 3-19.

Searby, L., & Armstrong, D. (2016) Supporting the development and professional growth of middle space education leaders through mentoring. The International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education5(3), 162-169.

Armstrong, D.  (2015). Listening to voices at the educational frontlines: New administrators’ experiences of the transition from teacher to vice-principal. Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 24(2), 109-122.

Armstrong, D., Tuters, S., & Carrier, N. (2013; published November 2014). Micropolitics and social justice leadership: Bridging beliefs and behaviours. Journal of Educational Administration and Foundations, 23(2), 35-53.

Browne, B., Novak, J., & Armstrong, D. (2013). Closing the gap through culture and climate, Principal Connections, 16(2), 4-7.

Ratkovic, S., Armstrong, D, & Hands, C. (2013). Editorial, Special Issue #2, Equity, engagement, teaching, and learning: Imagining and building a culturally inclusive learning community. Teaching & Learning7(3), i-ix.

Online Published Report

Armstrong, D. (2015). Transition to the role of principal and vice-principal studyEnglish Version.

Refereed Internal Grants

Type of Grant: Faculty of Education Research and Development Fund, GRAD Grant
Title: Sustaining Social Justice Leadership through Network and Alliances
Role: Principal Investigator
Date: January 2016-April 2016
Amount: $1583.40

Type of Grant: Faculty of Education Research and Development Fund, GRAD Grant
Title: Social Justice, Equity, and Aboriginal Education in Ontario
Role: Principal Investigator
Date: May 2014-September 2014
Amount: $1646.00

Type of Grant: Faculty of Education Research and Development Fund, GRAD Grant
Title: Mentoring Invitational and Inclusive Leadership – School Administrators’ Experiences
Role: Principal Investigator
Date: February 2014-April 2014
Amount: $1332.24

Type of Grant: Faculty of Education Research and Development Fund, R &D Grant
Title: Leadership Development and Mentoring for Equity and Social Justice
Role: Principal Investigator
Date: May 2013-April 2014
Amount: $666.66

Type of Grant: Experience Works Grant
Role: Principal Investigator; Co-recipient- Dr. S. Ratkovic 
Title: Equity, Engagement, Teaching and Learning Assistant
Date: April 2013- April 2014
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: $2,988.63

Type of Grant: Dean’s Discretionary Fund
Title: Second Annual Equity, Engagement, Teaching and Learning Conference
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates: November 2012-November 2013
Amount: $8500.22

  • EDUC5P60 – Constructions of Organization
  • EDUC5P64 – Ethics in Educational Decision Making
  • EDUC5P70 – The Social Context of Administration
  • EDUC5P72 – Effecting Change in Education
  • EDUC5P73 – Challenges of Educational Leadership
  • EDUC5P74 – Life in Educational Organizations