On 26th April I was lucky enough to share a platform and discussion space with teachers, researchers and academics discussing some critical issues and conversations in educational leadership at a BELMAS/BERA event at Newcastle University.
Within half and hour it was clear that the concept of ‘critical conversations’ can be interpreted in a range of ways but largely came back to the idea of narratives. There are leadership stories to be told and issues to be raised and discussed. As researchers our challenge is to explore how to best capture these stories.
These stories aren’t just historical stories but are dynamic narratives that are playing out in schools and educational contexts, and they are still being written. Some of the critical conversations to be had in educational leadership include: the role of business in education, the nature of leadership, BME diversity in leadership, gender in leadership. We discussed the importance of dialogue and sharing stories, sharing research methodologies, explored the impact of policy on minority groups and discussed ways that we can take a more intersectional approach to educational leadership challenges.
It wasn’t about statistics.
It was about stories.
It was open minded, reflective and critical.
In addition to my own presentation, I was given a short space to share a little bit about what we do at WomenEd. We’re striving to open up channels of discussion in some of these areas. We want to help support a more diverse educational landscape and we want to do that through collaborating with each other, creating a sense of community and allowing these stories to be told.
I left the event feeling refreshed, challenged and with a renewed sense that, whilst difficult, these conversations need to be had and stories need to be heard.
Find out more about WomenEd on Twitter.
Read some of the Tweets from the Critical Conversations event here.