Research Engagement and ImpactECR Spotlight - Dr Bev Rogers
The Masters of Education (Leadership and Management) attracts a significant number of International students. They travel to Australia for two years, usually with a deeply held desire to learn about how they might improve the lives of colleagues, and communities, in some way, when they return home.
Four years ago, when teaching within that program, I began to question the assumed unproblematic nature of the presentation of Western leadership and management theories/models to diverse students without understanding the diversity.
As it turns out, the expectations, by International students, that overseas study is designed to facilitate the transport of Western theory to their country, as the solution, makes the indigenous knowledge they bring, struggle to appear. Few students question transferability, yet the transference of Western-based theories may actually be of limited value to the real concerns and issues associated with the management of organisations in other countries and other cultures.
Over the last four years, I have redesigned a topic within the Masters of Education (Leadership and Management) course through a number of phases of both conceptual and pedagogical research, which builds on the ideas of Raewyn Connell (Southern Theory) and the Portuguese intellectual and sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos (abyssal thinking, cognitive justice and intercultural translation).
Santos (2016) argues that, in aiming to transform the world in some way, we benefit from a diversity of perspectives, which exceeds a limited Western understanding of the world. Rather than subscribing to a single, universal and abstract hierarchy among knowledges, cognitive justice favours context dependent hierarchies of knowledges.
For International students to contemplate social transformation in their home country, we need to prepare the ground for students thinking about the knowledges they bring, and the importance of unique contextual and cultural factors. Such a dialogue with students, learns from local knowledges without conferring lower status because of differences and the assumption of one universal Western worldview. Intercultural translation allows for dialogue and interpretations across cultures, at the same time as raising the awareness of reciprocal incompleteness of knowledges –“one foot in one culture and the other in another” (Santos, 2016, p. 219). Through such a dialogue, non-Western and indigenous understandings have a place and a voice.
To read about the topic re-design and future plans, exploring cognitive justice and rethinking the teaching of educational leadership with International students, please see my paper which was published in the Journal Studies in Continuing Education.
Dr Bev Rogers
Dr Bev Rovers is a Lecturer in Leadership and Management within the Masters of Education program at Flinders University. Bev was previously a secondary principal in both country and disadvantaged areas of Adelaide, and Director of Teaching and Learning within the Department of Education and Child Development, prior to joining Flinders University in 2014. Her research interest is in rethinking and challenging current dominant and culturally limited Western models of educational leadership. Her current research focuses on the impacts of professional learning on leaders’ practice and exploring culturally sensitive leadership interactions in diverse contexts.
T: 8201 3445
Campus: Bedford Park
College: Education, Psychology and Social Work
Role: Lecturer/researcher in Educational Leadership
This is a feature for Inspiring Research where we profile Flinders’ Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in our ECR Spotlight. This initiative appears regularly and aims to connect our research community and strengthen research communications within the University. You will get insight into who our ECRs are and how their research and achievements are making a difference.
The featured ECRs welcome dialogue, debate, and conversation and we hope that it may shape future intra-, inter- and/or trans-disciplinary collaboration with Flinders’ colleagues. Please feel free to comment on their spotlight, and/or contact them directly. Also, you can contact the ECR Spotlight coordinator, Dr Marina Delpin, with your queries and comments.
More posts in "Research Engagement and Impact" series:
- (13 Dec 2018) ECR Spotlight - Dr Ben Lewis
- (29 Nov 2018) Impact Seed Funding – supporting our Flinders ECRs – Dr David Smith
- (29 Nov 2018) Research Roundup - 29 November 2018
- (15 Nov 2018) Impact Seed Funding – supporting our Flinders ECRs – Dr Lua Perimal-Lewis
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- (31 Oct 2018) ECR Spotlight - Dr Bev Rogers
- (31 Oct 2018) Flinders researchers trip to Germany on bringing science to market
- (18 Oct 2018) Melbourne and Canberra fellowships advance research and leadership skills for Flinders researcher
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