About Alma Harris

Title

Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Department of Education, University of Bath.

Research Interests

School and System Improvement, Distributed Leadership, Organisational Development, Educational Policy and Change.

Background

Dr. Alma Harris is currently Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Bath. She is internationally known for her work on school improvement, focusing particularly on improving schools in challenging circumstances. Alma has written extensively about leadership in schools and she is an expert on the theme of distributed leadership.

She is Past President of the 'International Congress of School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI)'.

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Visiting Professorships

Dr Harris currently holds Visiting Professorships at the University of Southampton and the Moscow Higher School of Economics. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Current Research Project

'7 System Leadership Study'

This comparative research study is a detailed and systematic comparative analysis of leadership development and practice in 7 differentially performing education systems (Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, England, Indonesia, Russia, and Singapore). The study explores the way in which different education systems are developing school leaders and it explores the relationship between leadership development and leadership practice. The study will provide new evidence about the nature and practice of educational leadership in a range of education systems.

'Turnaround Schools in Malaysia and Indonesia'

This comparative project funded, by the Head Foundation in Singapore, is examining the process of school improvement in challenging contexts in both countries.

'Instructional Leadership'

This research study is funded by the Hong Kong Institute of Education and is part of a larger comparative study of instructional leadership in South East Asia.

Selected Publications

  • Harris, A. and Jones, M (2017) Leading Educational Change and Improvement at Scale: Some inconvenient truths about educational reform International Journal of Leadership in Education 1-10 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2016.1274786
  • Harris, A. Jones, A., Devadson, E. Cheah, K and Adams, D. (2017) ‘Exploring Principals’ Instructional Leadership Practices in Malaysia: Insights and Implications’ Journal of Educational Administration 55.2 (2017): 207-221.
  • Harris, A and Jones, M. (2017) Professional Learning Communities: A Strategy for School and System Improvement Welsh Journal of Education 19.1 p 16-38 https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.19.1.2
  • Harris, A., Jones, M., & Adams, D. (2016). Qualified to lead? A comparative, contextual and cultural view of educational policy borrowing. Educational Research, Vol. 58(2), p166-178.
  • Harris, A. (2016) The Changing Nature of Principals’ Work: A Commentary Journal of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Leadership, Administration and Management (CCEAM) Vol.44(2) p111-115
  • Harris, A., & DeFlaminis, J. (2016). Distributed leadership in practice Evidence, misconceptions and possibilities. Management in Education, Vol. 30 (4) p 141-146
  • Adams, D., Harris, A., & Jones, M. S. (2016). Teacher-Parent Collaboration for an Inclusive Classroom: Success for Every Child. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol 4(3), p58-71.
  • Harris, A. and Jones, M. (2015) ‘Transforming Education Systems: Comparative and Critical Perspectives on School Leadership’ Asia Pacific Journal of Education Vol. 35 Issue I p311-318
  • Jones, M., Adams, D., Tan M., Vasu, M., Perera, C. J., and Harris, A. (2015) ‘Contemporary Challenges and Changes: Principals’ Leadership Practices in Malaysia’ Asia Pacific Journal of Education Vol. 35 Issue 3 p353-365
  • Bysik, N., Harris, A., Evstigneeva, N., Isaeva, N., Kukso, K., and Jones, M., (2015) A Missing Link? Contemporary Insights into Principal Preparation and Training in Russia Asia Pacific Journal of Education Vol. 35 Issue 3 p331-341
  • Miao, Z., Reynolds, D., Harris, A. and Jones, M. (2015) ‘Comparing Performance: A cross-national investigation into the teaching of mathematics in primary classrooms in England and China’ Asia Pacific Journal of Education Vol. 35 Issue I p392-402
  • Spillane, J. Harris, A. and Jones, M. (2015) Novice School Principals: Opportunities and Challenges for taking a Distributed Perspective on School Leadership, British Educational Research Journal Vol. 41 Issue 61 p 1068-1085
  • Harris, A., Adams, D., Jones, M. and Muniandy, V. (2014) Leading System Improvement: The Importance of Context, School Effectiveness and School Improvement: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, Vol 26:1 p 1-3
  • Harris, A. Jones, M. Adams, D, Perera, J and Sharma, S. (2014) High Performing Education Systems in Asia: Leadership Art meets Implementation Science Asia-Pacific Education Researcher Vol.23: 4 p 861-869
  • Harris, A. and Jones, M. (Eds.) (2015) Leading Futures London, SAGE Press.
  • Hopkins, D. Stringfield, S. Harris, A. Stoll, L. and Mackay, T. (2014) School and System Improvement: A State of the Art Review, School Effectiveness and School Improvement 25:2 pp 257-281
  • Harris, A. and Jones, M. (2013) System Improvement through Collective Capacity Building: The Power and Potential of Professional Learning Communities, Journal of Organisational Change Management 2 pp 4-17
  • Harris, A. Jones, M. and Baba, S. (2013) Distributed Leadership and Digital Collaborative Learning: A Synergistic Relationship? British Journal of Educational Technology 44:6 926-939
  • Harris, A. Jones, M. Sharma, S. and Kannan, S. (2013) Leading Educational Transformation in Asia: Sustaining the knowledge societies, Asia Pacific Journal of Education 33:2 pp 212-221
  • Harris, A. Reynolds, D. Muijs, D. and Chapman, C. (2013) Getting Lost in Translation: An Analysis of the International Engagement of Practitioners and Policy Makers with the Educational Effectiveness Research Base, School Leadership and Management 33:1 pp 3-19
  • Harris, A. (2013) Distributed Leadership: Friend or Foe? Educational Management and Administration 41:5 pp 545-554
  • Harris, A. (2012) Leading System Wide Improvement, International Journal of Leadership in Education 15:3 pp 395-401
  • Harris, A. (2012) Distributed Leadership: Implications for the Role of the Principal, Journal of Management Development 31:1 pp 20-32
  • Harris, A. (2011) System Improvement through Collective Capacity Building, Journal of Educational Administration 49:6 pp 624-636.
  • Harris, A. (2011) System Change: Realizing the Fourth Way, Journal of Educational Change 12:1 pp 159-171.
  • Harris, A (2011) System Improvement through Collective Capacity Building, Journal of Educational Administration 49.6 (pages 624-636)
  • Harris, A. (2011) System Change: Realizing the Fourth Way Journal of Educational Change 12 (pages 159-171)
  • Harris, A (2011) Distributed Leadership: Current Evidence and Future Directions Journal of Management Development Vol 30 Issue 10 (pages 20-32)
  • Harris, A (2010) Leading System Transformation School Leadership and Management Vol 30 No 3 (pages 197-209) ISSN 1363-2434
  • Harris, A and Jones, M (2010) Professional Learning Communities and System Improvement Improving Schools Vol 13 no 2 172-181 ISSN 1365-4802
  • Allen, T and Harris, A (2010) Young People's Views of Multi-Agency Work British Educational Research Journal ISSN 0141-1926
  • Chapman, C., Lindsay, G., Muijs, D., Harris, A., Arweck, E. and Goodall, A. (2010) Governance, Leadership and Management in Federations of Schools, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 22, No. 1 pages 53-75 ISSN 0924-3454
  • Harris, A (2010) Leading System Transformation School Leadership and Management Vol 30 No 3 p197-209 ISSN 1363-2434
  • Harris, A and Jones, M (2010) Professional Learning Communities and System Improvement Improving Schools Vol 13 no 2 172-181 ISSN 1365-4802
  • Allen, T and Harris, A (2010) Pupils Perceptions of Multi-Agency Work British Educational Research Journal
  • Chapman, C., Lindsay, G., Muijs, D., Harris, A., Arweck, E. and Goodall, A. (2010) Governance, Leadership and Management in Federations of Schools, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol. 22, No. 1 pages 53-75 ISSN 0924-3454
  • Harris, A. and Allen, T (2009) Ensuring Every Child Matters: Issues and Implications for School Leadership School Leadership and Management Vol 29 No 4 p 1.10 ISSN 1363-2434
  • Harris, A (2009) Big change question: does politics help or hinder education change? Journal of Educational Change ISSN 1389-2843 (Print) ISSN1573-1812 (On Line)
  • Leithwood, K. Harris, A and Hopkins, D (2008) Seven Strong Claims about successful school leadership, School Leadership and Management 28 (1) 221-58.

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