Lead the Change with Kim Fong Poon-McBrayer

Dr. Kim Fong Poon-McBrayer has been a teacher and teacher educator in the United States, Singapore, Brunei, and currently is an Associate Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong, which was ranked 9 by the 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject in the world and 2nd in Asia. She is the former Deputy President of Hong Kong Institute of Technology and Senior Registrar of Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications. She has served in myriad leadership capacities in international professional organizations such as Council for Exceptional Children and been a keynote/plenary speaker in many conferences. Dr. Fong Poon-McBrayer was among the 2,000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century and Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Education 2003, 2009 and 2010. She has widely published in the areas of inclusive education and leadership for change. One of her papers won the First Paper of the World Conference on Educational Sciences in 2013.

In this interview, part of the Lead the Change Series of the American Educational Research Association Educational Change Special Interest Group, Dr. Poon-McBrayer talks about many topics, including her role in developing special education programs in China. As she puts it:

The single most important factor to facilitate systemic changes is the effective principal who cares about students, is keen to improve student outcomes, can build mutual trust with teachers and staff, communicates vision clearly, understands teachers’ difficulties and affective needs, and, most importantly, ‘models the way’ (as most principal participants emphasized) to demonstrate his/her commitment to be in the same boat with teachers. These school leaders have impressively contributed to the overall positive attitudes toward recognizing:

(a) students’ right to an education with appropriate support in public schools,
(b) parental right to participate in decision making, and
(c) the significance of professional development in improving teacher competencies in implementing changes.

The single most important factor for effective integrated education at the practice level is to have a team of well-supported—and well-equipped—teachers who share the vision of integrated education.

This Lead the Change interview appears as part of a series that features experts from around the globe, highlights promising research and practice, and offers expert insight on small- and large-scale educational change. Recently Lead the Change has also interviewed Mel Ainscow and Jennifer Groff.

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