Master Class – Cross Cultural Perspectives on Positive Leadership and School Improvement

Cross Cultural Perspectives on Positive Leadership and School Improvement

Mohammed Elmeski and Karen Seashore Louis

This session will explore the potential for Positive School Leadership (POS) perspectives to contribute to educational scholarship and practice in different national and regional contexts.  POS is based largely on scholarship carried out largely in North America, and focuses on leadership behaviors that are grounded in particular values and assumptions about adult relationships, organizations, and their consequences for individual educators and school teams (Murphy & Louis, 2018).  However, articulated and implicit value systems and preferred relationships in work settings are highly variable between countries (Hofstede, 2001).  This means that there is a need to translate underlying assumptions into workable options for teacher and leader development in any particular context.  The session leaders will first discuss this translation in the context of norther Africa, but will then focus on the countries represented in the group. The session leaders will engage participants in adapting “useable theory” to “powerful practice” in different cultural settings.

Hofstede, G. (2001). Cultures consequences:  Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Murphy, J., & Louis, K. S. (2018). Positive School Leadership:  Building Capacity and  Strengthening Relationships. New York: Teachers College Press.

Dr. Mohammed Elmeski is a Comparative International Development Education Senior Policy Advisor. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Karanga, the Global Alliance for Social Emotional Learning. He is also a Fellow Researcher on the International Study for Teacher Leadership. Dr. Elmeski sits on the Governance team of the Africa Voices Dialogue, and the Advisory Boards of the Nordic Center for Conflict Transformation, and the Global Belonging Cooperative.

His most recent positions include Clinical Associate Professor at Arizona State University and Senior Researcher at American Institutes for Research. In 2020, Dr. Elmeski was the Co-Chair of the 2020 edition of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement held in Morocco. His professional expertise includes the design and implementation of educational reform, operational management, change leadership, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development. His research interests include community engagement, educational leadership, teacher preparation, social emotional learning, and school transformation in marginalized neighborhoods. Dr. Elmeski earned his PhD in Comparative International Development Education and Program Evaluation from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He has led a diverse career that includes teaching, research, evaluation, technical assistance, and project leadership in the USA, Africa, Central America, MENA, and South Asia.

Karen Seashore Louis is Regents Professor Emerita at the University of Minnesota.  Her work focuses on school improvement and reform, school effectiveness, leadership in school settings, and the politics of knowledge use in education.  Her most recent books include Positive school leadership (2018) and Caring school leadership (2019). She has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Contributions to Staff Development award from the National Staff Development Association (2007), the Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration (2009), the Excellence in Research Award (2019), from Division A, American Educational Research Association, and a Life Member designation from the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement.