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Leading in Difficult Times - Revisiting Moral Purpose - Professor Alma Harris

Professor Alma Harris Deputy Head School of Education Swansea University United Kingdom

Date: November 15, 2021 (Monday) Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm (HKT)

"School leadership has changed considerably because of COVID-19…their leadership practices are way more adaptive, way more focused on crisis management, way more creative and resilient than they were ever before... leaders starting to be... compassionate towards themselves, to have empathy in themselves, to invest in themselves… so that they can cope with the challenges going forward."

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This lecture focuses upon what has been learnt about leading in difficult times. Drawing upon contemporary, international, research evidence, the lecture outlines the challenges of leading schools in the most challenging of circumstances, and highlights some of the ways in which leadership practices, at all levels, have changed in response to the pandemic. The lecture proposes that the pandemic has afforded leaders the opportunity to focus on what matters most in education. It argues that leaders have reaffirmed their moral purpose during the pandemic and have done so with commitment and compassion.

About the Speaker Professor Alma Harris, PhD, FAcSS, FLSW, FRSA, is Professor of Education and Deputy Head of School at the Swansea University School of Education, United Kingdom. She is internationally known for her research and writing on school leadership and system improvement. Professor Harris has written extensively on middle leadership and distributed leadership in schools. She is a consultant to the World Bank and is Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement. She is committed to equity and excellence in education. Her latest book System Recall: Leading for Equity and Excellence in Education was published by Corwin in 2020. Professor Harris is an International Education Adviser to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Scotland. Professor Harris has recently been elected to serve on the Council of the Learned Society of Wales. She was a member of the Independent Review of Qualifications 2020 in Wales. Most recently, she was the Chair of an Independent Review of Leadership for Welsh Government.


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