What's New

This page outlines my current research and development activity.

Teachers Leading Educational Reform (coming soon)

The Power of Professional Learning Communities
Edited by Alma Harris, Michelle Jones, Jane B. Huffman

About the Book

Teachers Leading Educational Reform explores the ways in which teachers across the world are currently working together in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to generate meaningful change and innovation in order to transform pedagogy and practice. By discussing how teachers can work collectively and collaboratively on the issues of learning and teaching that matter to them, it argues that through collective action and collaborative agency, teachers are leading educational reform.

By offering contemporary examples and perspectives on the practice, impact and sustainability of PLCs, this book takes a global, comparative view showing categorically that those educational systems that are performing well, and seek to perform well, are using PLCs as the infrastructure to support teacher-led improvement.

Split into three sections that look at the macro, meso and micro aspects of how far professional collaboration is building the capacity and capability for school and system improvement, this text asks the questions:

  • Is the PLC work authentic?
  • Is the PLC work being implemented at a superficial or deep level?
  • Is there evidence of a positive impact on students, teachers at the school/district/ system level?
  • Is provision in place for sustaining the PLC work?

Teachers Leading Educational Reform illustrates how focused and purposeful professional collaboration is contributing to change and reform across the globe. It reinforces why teachers must be at the heart of the school reform processes as the drivers and architects of school transformation and change.



Leading Futures

This book offers multiple perspectives on educational leadership from the viewpoint of scholars, policymakers and practitioners. It considers leadership in context and highlights the importance of cultural influences in shaping and forming leadership practices.

It is primarily concerned with ‘leading futures’ and the challenges faced by leading schools and school systems in an era of fast-paced technological change. It looks at leadership practices across four different levels (system, professional, leader and learner) and explores the connections therein. The book argues that these four levels are often viewed and described independently but in reality they are inherently interconnected and integrally related.

In short, this book takes a multi-level, multi-cultural and multi-contextual look at contemporary educational–leadership practice. Through this comparative lens, it presents new ideas, knowledge and insights that would be relevant and ultimately useful to educational leaders around the globe.

Reviews

School leaders can play powerful roles in igniting student learning, but all too often policy-makers have advocated technical approaches to leadership development that are blind to the cultural and contextual dynamics of schools. Leading Futures provides the intellectual armamentarium for a refreshing contrast to this general pattern. Based upon an ambitious international study of school leadership practices—including those in under- investigated nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia—the authors provide a series of nuanced analysis in a single book that will catapult the whole field of educational leadership forward. This book is true tour de force that will be read and re-read many times by all of us endeavoring to keep abreast of the exciting new transformations in education around the world today.

Dennis Shirley
Editor-in- Chief, Journal of Educational Change Professor,
Lynch School of Education, Boston College Co-author of The Global Forth Way

Leadership is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in producing successful and widespread educational change. But leadership does not look the same in all contexts and cultures. Leading Futures brings together scholars and writers on educational leadership from around the world to remind us that more and better comparative studies are needed that look at leadership from many angles. The editors of this book are themselves leaders of change on a global scale. Like them, this book challenges all of us to rethink all the things we thought were universally true about leadership and its effectiveness. A must read for anyone who wants to extend their understanding of leadership beyond their own domain.

Andy Hargreaves
Brennan Chair, Lynch School of Education, Boston College
Adviser to the Premier and Minister of Education of Ontario
Co-author of Professional Capital

While it has been readily acknowledged for some time that school leaders play a significant role in educational success, their roles and quality of leadership have become even more significant in the present context of important new demands being made on schools, teachers and pupils. Significant and ambitious reform initiatives are being launched by governments globally in response to globalization’s opportunities and challenges. Leading Futures is a very welcome contribution to studying leadership challenges in this new context. Drawing on an international study of school leadership, its careful attention to the interplay of culture and context throws up interesting insights, which will move the study and practice of school leadership forward in significant ways. An important new book that deserves wide readership and careful study.

S. Gopinathan
Adjunct Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
National University of Singapore Founding Editor, Asia Pacific Journal of Education

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Uplifting Leadership

Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle & Alma Harris

What does it take to do more with less? How can you do better than before, or better than others? How do you turn losses into wins, or near-bankruptcy into strong profitability, or abject failure into stellar success?

The power of uplift enables any organization to do more with less, beat the competition, and perform better than ever. Leaders who uplift their employees' passions, intellects, and commitments produce remarkable results.

Based on original research from a seven-year global study, Uplifting Leadership reveals how leaders from diverse organizations inspired and uplifted their teams' performance. Distilling the six common characteristics of leaders at high-performing organizations across business, sports, and education, authors Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle, and Alma Harris explore the nature of uplift, its impact on performance, and the ways to achieve it within and beyond an organization's walls, revealing how leaders:

  • Identify and articulate an inspiring dream that is coherently connected to the best of what the organization has been before
  • Pursue that dream at a sustainable pace without squandering resources, incurring excessive debt, or burning people out
  • Forge paths of innovation and improvement that others have overlooked or rejected
  • Monitor progress by using metrics and indicators in a mindful and meaningful way
  • Build teams that naturally pull people into change rather than pushing them through it

Featuring case studies of organizations as diverse as Shoebuy.com, Fiat, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Marks & Spencer, Cricket Australia, Burnley Football Club, and the Vancouver Giants, as well as world-leading educational systems, Uplifting Leadership provides tools for leaders to incorporate these performance-driving strategies into their own.

For leaders who want their people to try harder, transform what they do, reach for a higher purpose, and stay resolute and resilient when opposing forces threaten to defeat them, Uplifting Leadership provides a path to better performance across any organization. Featuring case studies of organizations as diverse as Shoebuy.com, Fiat, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Marks & Spencer, Cricket Australia, Burnley Football Club, and the Vancouver Giants, as well as world-leading educational systems, Uplifting Leadership provides tools for leaders to incorporate these performance-driving strategies into their own.

For leaders who want their people to try harder, transform what they do, reach for a higher purpose, and stay resolute and resilient when opposing forces threaten to defeat them, Uplifting Leadership provides a path to better performance across any organization.

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