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Education Leadership

Education Leadership

Understanding Education as a Human Right

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  December 10 is Human Rights Day and, therefore, an opportunity to reflect on the comparatively recent idea that human beings have unalienable rights. Part of this reflection is the idea that education is one of those rights, something expressed in article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948.  …

The Concept of the Career in Today’s Complex Work Environment

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  November is career development month in the United States. What does it mean to have a career in today’s world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity?    The word career has an interesting etymology from the Latin “carrus.” These were wheeled carts that were pulled along the network of Roman roads that made up…

Black History Month Bears a Message for Educators

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  February is Black History Month. This is a tradition that goes back to the 1920s when the famous social reformer Frederick Douglass’ 14 February birthday was remembered for a week every year so as to focus on the teaching of black culture and history in schools.   Since the 1970s then it has become…

Understanding the Wonders of Mentorship

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  In Homer’s masterpiece The Odyssey, when Odysseus leaves Ithaca to travel to Troy to fight in the Trojan war, he leaves his son Telemachus with a character to look after him. His name is Mentor. Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, disguises herself as Mentor to pass on a message to Telemachus: he is not…

Inclusivity or Political Correctness? Bridging Polar Perspectives

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  One of the complex issues that educational institutions are grappling with is how to navigate inclusion in such a manner that all stakeholders feel heard and understood. The idea of opening the curriculum, recruitment, leadership, guest speaker invitations and partnerships to a wide and inclusive range of constituents seems straightforward at face value but…

The Evolving Role of Teachers in the 21st Century

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  About 5000 years ago, teachers were considered gurus (literally in the Indian Gurukula system): they would transmit knowledge to a small group of initiates. The status of teachers in society was very high in Vedic, Egyptian, and Sumerian culture. In West Africa, griots (story tellers, singers and musicians) were and still are revered for…

Passionate Young People Need to be Our Education Workforce

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

As young people make their way to the end of high school and start to think about what the next step might be, several avenues open, at least for those privileged enough to have options. Which courses to take? Which career to follow? A similar question might be asked by undergraduate students as they think…

Decolonizing the Curriculum

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

The modern idea of a curriculum, which is to say a published and detailed scheme of work that lays out what students will learn, is relatively recent. It was only after the 1850s and the expansion of compulsory education that schools and universities began to detail the aims, objectives, assessment, and structure of courses systematically…

Widening Access to Higher Education

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  The world’s first universities in modern day Pakistan, India and Morocco were spiritual centres dedicated to the teachings of Buddhism and Islam. Only those dedicated to a monastic life were admitted. By the 12th Century, a number of European universities (such as Bologna, Oxford and Paris) operated as guilds whereby contracts between esteemed scholars…

Decolonizing the Curriculum

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

The modern idea of a curriculum, which is to say a published and detailed scheme of work that lays out what students will learn, is relatively recent. It was only after the 1850s and the expansion of compulsory education that schools and universities began to detail the aims, objectives, assessment, and structure of courses systematically…

What does it Mean to be Educated?

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  January 24 was World Education Day. But what does it mean to be educated in 2022?   The Latin root of the word educate is “exducere”: to lead out of. The idea is that the educational process leads you out of your former self into a new self: more knowledgeable, more skilled, wiser, and…

The Importance of Women Educators

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  March 8 being International Women’s Day offers us an opportunity to reflect on womanhood and education.    Much of the focus on education in the 21st Century globalised economy is on skills for the marketplace and aptitudes for global citizenship. However, what is taught in history tends to still be an investigation into conflict….

Checking Deep-rooted Personal Bias to Recognize Women’s Contributions

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  The other day I was doing a presentation to my senior leadership team on change management strategies. I had chosen one of my favourite books, Damian Hughes’ lucid and tightly composed The Barcelona Way, in which he cleverly creates the acronym BARCA to outline the five fundamental steps needed for cultural transformation; Big Picture,…

Social Inclusion versus Reactionaryism: The New Divide

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  During the French Revolution of 1789, when the National Assembly was created, a decision was taken to place monarchists to the right and revolutionaries to the left of the president. Hence the terminology “right-wing”, meaning – originally – pro-monarchy and “left-wing”, meaning anti-monarchy.    Needless to say, in today’s post-modern, interconnected and globalised world,…

Closing the Teacher Diversity Gap

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  This article argues for teacher diversity, explaining why and how it is so important. Teaching is an extremely complex profession. On the one hand, there is the mastery of the content being taught that is necessary for teachers to earn the respect and learning of their students. You simply cannot teach something you do…

Are we Becoming Less Intelligent? Why? What to do?

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

With the endless barrage of information hitting us 24 hours a day, permanent online “connection” and ever-unfolding social media discussions, we are very much in the age of big data. Ridiculous-sounding names like zettabytes (of which it is predicted there will be 175 in circulation in 2025) are used to describe data volume and there…

On the Importance of Teacher Diversity: What the Research Says

Conrad Hughes, Education Advisory Board member

  Further to my blog on closing the teacher diversity gap, it is worth looking at what some of the research on the question of teacher diversity says. Most of the research comes from the United States, since studies on diversity tend to be more developed in Northern America (and the United Kingdom) than elsewhere,…