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LSOE's Johnson Wins Fulbright to England

Lauri Johnson (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: Apr. 10, 2014

Lynch School of Education Associate Professor Lauri Johnson has been awarded a 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar Award and will spend next year in England, interviewing some of the nation’s pioneering black and South Asian school principals.

Johnson, an expert in educational leadership and the history of education, will be basedat the University of Nottingham, where she holds an appointment as an honorary research fellow until 2016.

“It is very exciting and I view this as a gift,” said Johnson, who also coordinates the Lynch School’s Professional School Administrator Program (PSAP). “I’m grateful for this opportunity to spend a year pursuing a research project about which I feel very passionate.”

Johnson said her previous research in England into the preparation of school leaders – known as “headteachers” – led her to propose the in-depth study of the lives and careers of some of the first non-white headteachers in Britain.

Johnson said elementary and secondary school enrollment in England is rapidly becoming more and more diverse. Yet people of color constitute less than 6 percent of all teachers and only 2.4 percent of headteachers.

“While student populations are diverse, only a small percentage of teachers who are black or South Asian make it up the administrative ladder to headteacher,” said Johnson. “This is a significant issue for Britain. The country has to diversify both the ranks of its teachers and headteachers.”

The project will build upon Johnson’s earlier research into the role of race and culture in the lives of US educators.

Johnson will spend the next academic year conducting in-depth life history interviews with 30 black and South Asian headteachers from cities and towns throughout the country. Topics will range from childhood school experiences to the influences that led them to their teaching careers to their routes to school leadership.

Johnson will be working with colleagues at the University of Nottingham, which is home to the National College for Teaching and Leadership. 

Lynch School Dean Maureen Kenny praised Johnson’s work as a scholar and teacher who both examines the lessons of the past and prepares educators for the future.

“Professor Johnson, through her scholarship and her leadership of our PSAP doctoral program, works tirelessly to develop the next generation of school and district leaders,” said Kenny. “All of us at the Lynch School congratulate Lauri for this well-deserved honor.”