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Diversity & equity in school leadership podcast

Schools are based on a fundamental principle: to provide access to education and safe and supportive learning environments for all students.

Student populations in schools are becoming increasingly diverse, are we seeing this diversity reflected in school leadership? Do we need to reshape our education systems to foster diversity and inclusion and how can schools ensure that they are building truly equitable learning environments? In this episode, we speak with three experts in educational leadership, Martin Scanlon from Boston College USA, Kim Schildkamp, from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and Pak Tee Ng from Nanyang Technology University in Singapore. We discuss the power and responsibility that teachers have, why we need better data to improve our schools, the importance of student voice and human conversations and the ways that schools can partner with their communities

Speaker profiles

Martin Scanlan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education at Boston College. Martin worked for fifteen years as a mentor, teacher and administrator in elementary and middle schools across the US. His doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin – Madison focused on the intersectionality of inclusivity in urban elementary schools serving traditionally marginalized students. Since 2005 he has worked as a teacher and researcher, focussing on systemic transformation of school systems toward integrated service delivery and on asset-oriented approaches to serving culturally and linguistically diverse students. Currently, his focus is on how communities of practice support the learning of adults in schools. He co-edited two recent books: Leadership for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Education: Designing Networks That Transform Schools, published in 2019 by Harvard Education Press, and Leadership for Increasingly Diverse Schools, published in 2020 by Routledge.  

Prof Dr Kim Schildkamp is a Professor of Data-informed decision making for learning and development in the Faculty of Behavioural, Management, and Social Sciences of the University of Twente in the Netherlands.  She developed the data team® procedure, which has received the European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning (EAPRIL) best research-practice award.  Kim is a Fulbright scholarship recipient, past president of ICSEI (International Congress on School Effectiveness and Improvement), Chair of the zone “Facilitating professional development and support for lecturers” of the Dutch National Acceleration Plan for Educational Innovation with ICT, global editor of the Journal of Professional Capital and Community and associate editor for Studies in Educational Evaluation. https://people.utwente.nl/k.schildkamp 

Pak Tee NG [National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University] is a Singaporean educator deeply involved in the development of school and teacher leaders. At the NIE, he served as Associate Dean Leadership Learning and Head of the Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group, working in educational change, policy and leadership. Pak Tee has spoken at the Google Global Education Symposium, International Baccalaureate Global Conference, and Scottish Learning Festival. He is currently a member of Scotland’s International Council of Education Advisers and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. Retired from journal editorship, he now serves as honorary mentor to a few younger editors, co-edits the Routledge Leading Change book series and is the author of “Learning from Singapore: The Power of Paradoxes”. 

Pak Tee encourages educators to walk a path not easily travelled, with love, courage and resilience. Although thankful for receiving a few awards during his career, his greater reward is a fraternity of students who are educational leaders themselves and who pay it forward through their educational leadership, contribution and commitment to education.

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In this episode

  • What we mean by diversity and leadership in school contexts
  • The need for diversity in school leadership positions
  • The challenges and opportunities of building equitable learning environments for all students
  • How can we develop systems that support teacher leaders in their work toward equity?
  • How far is the individual teacher responsible for equity in school leadership?
  • What would partnerships and collective action look like with this regard?
  • What would be some justice centred school outcomes of equity in school leadership?

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