Sue Winton

Associate Professor

Ph.D. - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; M.Ed. - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; B.Ed. - Queen's University; B.A.H. - Queen's University

Location(s) / Contact Info:

203, Winters College - WC
Keele Campus


Scholarly Interests

Dr. Winton's critical policy research examines how education policies and policy processes support and/or undermine critical democratic commitments to equity, diversity, social justice, and public participation in policymaking.

Courses Taught

  • Critical Issues in Leadership and Community Engagement (blended course) (GS/EDUC 7000)
  • Policy Research in Education (GS/EDUC 5205)

Selected Publications

  • Winton, S. & Pollock, K. (2016). Meanings of success and successful leadership in Ontario, Canada in neoliberal times Journal of Educational Administration and History, 48 (1), 19-34.
  • Winton, S. & Evans, M.P. (2016). Consulting, mediating, conducting, and supporting: How community-based organizations engage with research to influence policy. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15 (1), 4-25.
  • Winton, S. (2016). Challenging fundraising, challenging inequity: Contextual constraints on advocacy groups' policy influence. Critical Studies in Education. doi:10.1080/17508487.2016.1176062.
  • Evans, M., Newman, A. & Winton, S. (2015). Not your mother's PTA: Organizational hybridity in community-based organizations. The Educational Forum, 79 (3), 263-279.
  • Pollock, K & Winton, S. (2015). The juggling act: Three principals' approaches to multiple accountability systems Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability.
  • Winton, S. & Tuters, S. (2015). Constructing bullying in Ontario, Canada: A critical policy analysis. Educational Studies, 41 ((1&2)), 122-142.
  • Winton, S.& Evans, M. (2014). Challenging political spectacle through grassroots policy dialogues Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy (156).
  • Winton, S. & Gonzalez, D. (2014). The politics of interest groups in education. In Lindle, J. (Ed.), Political Contexts of Educational Leadership: ISLLC Standard 6. New York: Routledge
  • Winton, S. & Brewer, C. (2014). People for Education: A critical policy history Qualitative Studies in Education, 27(9), 1091-1109. doi:10.1080/09518398.2014.916005.
  • S. Winton (2013). From zero tolerance to progressive discipline and Student Success in Ontario, Canada. Educational Policy, 27 (3), 465-496. doi:10.1177/0895904812453994.
  • S. Winton (2013). Rhetorical analysis in critical policy research. Qualitative Studies in Education, 26 (2), 158-177.
  • Winton, S. (2013). How schools define success: The influence of local contexts on the meaning of success in three schools in Ontario, Canada Canadian and International Education, 42 (1).
  • Winton, S. & Pollock, K. (2013). Preparing politically savvy principals in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Educational Administration, 51 (1), 40-54.
  • S. Winton (2012). Positioning Ontario's Character Development Initiative in/through its policy web of relationships Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 58.
  • Winton, S. (2011). Managing conduct: A comparative policy analysis of safe schools policies in Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, USA. Comparative Education, 47 (2), 247-263.
  • Winton, S. (2010). Character education, new media and political spectacle. Journal of Education Policy, 25 (3), 349-367.
  • Winton, S. (2010). Character development and critical democratic education in Ontario, Canada. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 9 (2), 220-237.
  • Winton, S. (2010). Democracy in education through community-based policy dialogues Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 114.
  • Winton, S. (2008). The appeal(s) of character education in threatening times: Caring and critical democratic responses. Comparative Education, 44 (3), 305-316.

Research Projects

Mobilizing Rhetoric for Policy Change: How Context Influences an Advocacy Group’s Success

Role: Principal Investigator

Year Funded: 2014

Duration: 2

Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The study examines how an education advocacy group in Ontario, Canada, attempts to influence policy by defining and mobilizing the meanings of education policies. It uses rhetorical analysis to identify strategies used by the group and examines how the success of these strategies is affected by a policy’s historical, economic, cultural, and political contexts.

Policy Layer Enactment: New Terrains of Understanding

Role: Co-Investigator

Year Funded: 2015

Duration: 5

Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The purpose of this research is to understand the complexities of policy layer enactment in Ontario secondary schools. Findings will shed new light on how policy is interpreted, prioritized and “done” in real-world contexts.


  • Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Fellowship, University at Buffalo, State University of New York - 2010-2011