School Leadership in the 21st Century

Workshop conducted by Katherine K. Merseth, Professor and Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School

Katherine K. Merseth, Professor and Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School, recently visited CGS for the fourth time and on this occasion conducted a workshop on Leading Schools in the 21st Century.

The workshop took place on Tuesday 16 April and addressed department coordinators and CGS heads from all educational levels. Through an interactive workshop, Ms. Merseth analysed the different types of leadership in education, pointing out how crucial the balance between alternative approaches at an individual and a team level is.

She encouraged CGS executives to reflect on their responsibilities in order to revise consolidated practices, adopt new ones, and at the same time set priorities to make their work even more effective.

CGS and Professor Katherine Merseth have been collaborating on a long-standing programme of professional development. The last time she visited our country was at the hugely successful CGS Educational Conference held at the Athens Concert Hall in April 2018.

Professor Katherine K. Merseth
Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and at Harvard College


Katherine Merseth’s work concentrates on charter schools, teacher education, mathematics education, and the case-method of instruction. At Harvard, she founded the Harvard Children’s Initiative, a university-wide program focusing on the needs of children as well as the School Leadership and the Teacher Education Programs at the School of Education. In mathematics education, she was the principal investigator of the Mathematics Case Development Project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Massachusetts Math and Science Partnership working with middle school mathematics teachers using classroom based cases; she also served as co-principal investigator of the Teacher Education Addressing Mathematics and Science in Boston and Cambridge Project. Her book, Windows on Teaching Mathematics: Cases of Secondary Mathematics Classrooms (Teachers College Press), represents work in mathematics education and the case method while her involvement as a case method teacher of school administrators exists in her Cases in Educational Administration (Longman).

Internationally, she has edited two volumes of cases about classroom practice in South Africa and Chile. In the charter field, she recently concluded a two year study examining best practices in high performing urban charter schools which culminated in the award winning book, Inside Urban Charter Schools (Harvard Education Press). Recently, Merseth was awarded a Harvard Initiative on Teaching and Learning (HILT) award to explore the use of a new technology platform to enhance the teaching of controversial topics. In addition, Merseth teaches in the General Education Program of Harvard College. Her course, the Dilemmas of Excellence and Equity in K–12 American Schools, has drawn the interest of over 450 Harvard College students each semester and has some of the highest student rankings in the College. Merseth has served as a curriculum developer, teacher, and administrator in K–12 schools. In addition to her Harvard doctorate, Merseth holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from Cornell University, a master’s in mathematics from Boston College, and a master of arts in teaching secondary mathematics from Harvard.

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