This inaugural lecture focuses on what we know about contemporary educational improvement, transformation, and change. It will provide insights into what reform strategies work, long term, to build the capacity for principled change at the school and system level. The inaugural will consider what leaders can do to secure principled school and system improvement which fully embraces diversity, equity, and equality. It will also dispel some myths about reform at scale and challenge some prevailing ideas about educational change that, it will be posited, are not helping many young people to reach their potential.
The main argument of the lecture is that too many school and system improvement initiatives have not paid sufficient attention to equity issues in their pursuit of ever higher achievement and that the net effect of large-scale, international assessments have been to distract policy makers in ways that have not always benefitted young people.
The lecture proposes that it is time for a ‘system recall’ in education and an urgent need to look at what matters most in the pursuit of equitable educational goals.
Dr. Alma Harris, FRSA, has held Professorial posts at University College London, the University of Warwick and the University of Malaya, Malaysia. She is internationally known for her research and writing on school and system improvement. She is a consultant to the World Bank and is holds Visiting professorial positions at the Moscow Higher School of Economics and the University of Southampton. Professor Harris is Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement and Past President of the College of Teachers. She was a Senior Adviser to the Minister of Education and Skills in Wales (2009-2012) and is currently an International Adviser to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Scotland.