Dr Jess Harris

Dr Jess Harris

Senior Lecturer

School of Education

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Jess Harris joined the School of Education at the University of Newcastle early in 2016. Her research publications span a range of areas, highlighting her interest in the fields of school change, educational leadership, and the study of talk and social interaction using Conversation Analysis methods.

Jess previously held academic positions at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the University of Queensland, Griffith University, and the University of Melbourne. Most recently, she worked with a team of researchers at QUT and the University of Manchester on an ARC Linkage Project examining “Ethical leadership in a context of high-stakes data-driven accountability” (2013 – 2016). In 2010 she was awarded a highly competitive University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellowship, exploring initial teacher education policies and practices in a variety of settings (2010 – 2013). Additionally, Jess gained experience in the private sector, working as Director of Research (2005 – 2008) and continuing as Senior Consulting Researcher at Educational Transformations Pty Ltd.

Research Expertise

Jess' research interests include the practices used by school leaders, teachers, students, and community members to improve schooling for all students both in Australia and internationally. She is particularly interested in working with school leaders, teachers, and students to support collaborative inquiry with the goal of developing local solutions to issues that they face in their school community.

Her interests in qualitative research, particularly Conversation Analysis and Ethnomethodology, have led her to the micro-analysis of structures and patterns in social action in a range of institutional settings. Jess has published research on talk in medical consultations, counselling helplines, and educational settings including school leadership meetings, initial teacher education, and doctoral education.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of New South Wales

Keywords

  • Collaborative inquiry
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Educational leadership
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Qualitative research methods
  • School change

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators 40
130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership 20
200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
29/01/2013 - 29/01/2016 Research Associate Queensland University of Technology
Faculty of Education
Australia
7/01/2010 - 25/01/2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow The University of Queensland
School of Education
Australia
31/08/2008 - 30/12/2009 Research Fellow Griffith University
School of Education and Professional Studies
Australia
5/09/2005 - 30/04/2008 Research Fellow The University of Melbourne
Graduate School of Education
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
5/09/2005 - 30/04/2008 Director of Research Educational Transformations Pty Ltd.
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Harris J, Carrington S, Ainscow M, Promoting Equity in Schools: Collaboration, Inquiry and Ethical Leadership, Routledge, London (2017)
2008 Caldwell BJ, Harris J, Why Not the Best Schools? What we have learned from outstanding schools around the world, ACER Press, Camberwell, VIC (2008)
2008 Caldwell BJ, Harris JL, Breakthrough in Governance, International Network for Educational Transformations, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, United Kingdom (2008)

Chapter (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Danby SJ, Harris J, Butler CW, 'Helpline Discourse', The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction, John Wiley & Sons, USA 725-734 (2015)
2013 Harris J, Zhao Y, Caldwell BJ, 'Conditions for successful reforms: Characteristics of the organisation and culture in Chinese schools in a global context', Curriculum Reform in China: Changes and Challenges 61-78 (2013)

Reforms to the basic education system in China have reflected an increasing awareness of and openness to new ideas from the global education sphere. Many of the concepts involved ... [more]

Reforms to the basic education system in China have reflected an increasing awareness of and openness to new ideas from the global education sphere. Many of the concepts involved in the development and implementation of these reforms, including adopting holistic perspectives of student development; decentralising school governance to facilitate local decision-making to address local needs; and, an increased focus on practical, lifelong learning for all involved in schools, have been promoted in research and policies throughout the world. While working within this global context, the system of schooling in China has retained a unique character that is quite different from education in the West. Drawing on an international project on school transformation, this chapter aims to examine how five secondary schools in Chongqing, a municipality in Southwestern China, have harnessed and aligned their resources to provide effective school governance following the curriculum reforms. Furthermore, the chapter will examine the similarities and differences between the organisational structures and cultures of these schools in China and successful schools in Australia, England, Finland, Wales and the United States. © 2012 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Citations Scopus - 1
2012 Harris J, Theobald M, Danby S, Reynolds E, Rintel ES, '¿What¿s going on here?¿: The pedagogy of a data analysis session', Reshaping Doctoral Education: International Approaches and Pedagogies 83-95 (2012)
DOI 10.4324/9780203142783
Citations Scopus - 1
2012 Caldwell BJ, Loader D, Harris J, Zhao Y, 'Capital Formation in the Futures-Focused School: Indicators of a breakthrough in school improvement', International Handbook on Teacher and School Development, Routledge, Oxon 410-421 (2012)
2010 Pendergast D, Renshaw P, Harris J, 'Community', Teaching Middle Years: Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Allen & Unwin, Sydney 286-301 (2010)
2010 SIngh P, Harris J, 'Pedagogic Translations: Dominant Pedagogic Modes and Teacher Professional Identity', Toolkits, Translation Devices and Conceptual Accounts: Essays on Basil Bernstein¿s Sociology of Knowledge, Peter Lang Publishing, New York 249-267 (2010)
2007 Caldwell BJ, Harris J, 'Global Context of School Leadership', Transformation and Innovation: System Leaders in the Global Age, International Network for Educational Transformations, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, United Kingdom 62-103 (2007)
Show 4 more chapters

Journal article (9 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Keogh J, Harris J, Jervis-Tracey P, 'The work of categorisation in achieving moral order in feedback talk during the school-based professional experience', Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 10 109-128 (2017)
DOI 10.1558/japl.18760
2016 Harris J, 'Speaking the culture: understanding the micro-level production of school culture through leaders¿ talk', Discourse, 1-12 (2016)

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Global contexts of accountability have placed unprecedented pressure on school leaders to improve the performance o... [more]

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Global contexts of accountability have placed unprecedented pressure on school leaders to improve the performance of their schools. Despite recognition that leaders¿ influence is mediated by school culture, few studies offer systematic examinations of culture-in-action in schools. The concept of culture remains nebulous and is frequently glossed over as being ¿messy¿ in studies of school change. This paper uses tools from membership categorisation analysis to demonstrate how culture is produced at a micro-level in and through the actions of leaders in one school. My analysis shows a disjuncture between the purported values and policies of the school and the ways that school leaders through their talk construct and implement school practices, and thus the culture-in-action at their school. I argue that implementing effective change is impossible without understanding and disrupting the micro-level production and reproduction of culture in schools.

DOI 10.1080/01596306.2016.1256271
2015 Ehrich LC, Harris J, Klenowski V, Smeed J, Spina N, 'The centrality of ethical leadership', Journal of Educational Administration, 53 197-214 (2015)

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose ¿ The central argument in this paper is that ethical school leadership is imperative in a context of increasing performance-driven ac... [more]

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose ¿ The central argument in this paper is that ethical school leadership is imperative in a context of increasing performance-driven accountability. The purpose of this paper is to focus on school principals¿ perceptions of how they understand ethical leadership and how they lead the ethical use of data. Design/methodology/approach ¿ This study utilises semi-structured interviews with six state school principals (one primary and six secondary) to explore their perceptions of ethical leadership practices; and how they balance current competing accountabilities in a context of performance-driven accountability. Findings ¿ There were four key findings. First, principals used data to inform and direct their practices and their conversations with teachers. Second, while ethics was a central consideration in how principals¿ led, practising in an ethical manner was identified as complex and challenging in the current context. Third, Starratt¿s (1996) ethical framework proved to be relevant for interpreting principals¿ practices. Finally, all of the principals referred to dilemmas they faced as a result of competing priorities and all used a variety of strategies to deal with these dilemmas. Originality/value ¿ While there is a small body of research that explores school leaders¿ understandings of ethical tensions and dilemmas, there is little research that has focused on school leaders¿ understandings of the ethical use of data. This study, then, contributes to this area as it provides a discussion on school principals¿ leadership practices in the current climate driven by data use.

DOI 10.1108/JEA-10-2013-0110
Citations Scopus - 1
2015 Ehrich LC, Harris JL, Klenowski V, Smeed J, Ainscow MA, 'Ethical leadership in a time of increasing accountability', Leading and Managing, 21 22-22 (2015)
2013 Singh P, Thomas S, Harris J, 'Recontextualising policy discourses: A Bernsteinian perspective on policy interpretation, translation, enactment', Journal of Education Policy, 28 465-480 (2013)

This paper contributes to critical policy research by theorising one aspect of policy enactment, the meaning making work of a cohort of mid-level policy actors. Specifically, we p... [more]

This paper contributes to critical policy research by theorising one aspect of policy enactment, the meaning making work of a cohort of mid-level policy actors. Specifically, we propose that Basil Bernstein's work on the structuring of pedagogic discourse, in particular, the concept of recontextualisation, may add to understandings of the policy work of interpretation and translation. Recontextualisation refers to the relational processes of selecting and moving knowledge from one context to another, as well as to the distinctive re-organisation of knowledge as an instructional and regulative or moral discourse. Processes of recontextualisation necessitate an analysis of power and control relations, and therefore add to the Foucauldian theorisations of power that currently dominate the critical policy literature. A process of code elaboration (decoding and recoding) takes place in various recontextualising agencies, responsible for the production of professional development materials, teaching guidelines and curriculum resources. We propose that mid-level policy actors are crucial to the work of policy interpretation and translation because they are engaged in elaborating the condensed codes of policy texts to an imagined logic of teachers' practical work. To illustrate our theoretical points we draw on data; collected for an Australian research project on the accounts of mid-level policy actors responsible for the interpretation of child protection and safety policies for staff in Queensland schools. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

DOI 10.1080/02680939.2013.770554
Citations Scopus - 23
2013 Harris JL, Keogh J, Jervis-Tracey P, 'Doing Collaborative Reflection in the Professional Experience', Australian Journal of Communication, 40 33-45 (2013)
2012 Harris J, Danby S, Butler CW, Emmison M, 'Extending client-centered support: Counselors' proposals to shift from e-mail to telephone counseling', Text and Talk, 32 21-37 (2012)

The availability and use of online counseling approaches has increased rapidly over the last decade. While research has suggested a range of potential affordances and limitations ... [more]

The availability and use of online counseling approaches has increased rapidly over the last decade. While research has suggested a range of potential affordances and limitations of online counseling modalities, very few studies have offered detailed examinations of how counselors and clients manage asynchronous e-mail counseling exchanges. In this paper we examine e-mail exchanges involving clients and counselors through Kids Helpline, a national Australian counseling service that offers free online, e-mail, and telephone counseling for young people up to the age of 25. We employ tools from the traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to analyze the ways in which counselors from Kids Helpline request that their clients call them, and hence change the modality of their counseling relationship, from e- mail to telephone counseling. This paper shows the counselors' three multilayered approaches in these e-mails as they negotiate the potentially delicate task of requesting and persuading a client to change the trajectory of their counseling relationship from text to talk without placing that relationship in jeopardy. © Walter de Gruyter.

DOI 10.1515/text-2012-0002
Citations Scopus - 19
2009 Harris J, Zhao Y, Caldwell BJ, 'Global characteristics of School transformation in China', Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 29 413-426 (2009)

© 2009 National Institute of Education, Singapore. In many ways, China¿s education system is quite different from systems of education in the West. Rich descriptions of school t... [more]

© 2009 National Institute of Education, Singapore. In many ways, China¿s education system is quite different from systems of education in the West. Rich descriptions of school transformation, however, have revealed that the factors that fuelled transformation in schools in China are also evident in schools in Australia, England, Finland, Wales and the United States. This paper draws on an international project that examined how secondary schools from six countries achieved success by developing and drawing on their resources, referred to as four forms of capital: financial, intellectual, social and spiritual. It describes how five secondary schools in Chongqing, Western China, viewed each form of capital and how the four forms of capital were strengthened and aligned through outstanding governance to support the success of all students. The case is made that, although some aspects of the forms of capital found in schools in China may be viewed differently, the approaches adopted by these schools share a number of common elements with approaches to school transformation identified in Western schools. It is argued that these common elements from a range of international settings constitute a rich evidence base for understanding school transformation and for new insights in governance and leadership.

DOI 10.1080/02188790903308860
Citations Scopus - 8
2006 Wilhelm K, Brownhill S, Harris J, Harris P, 'Depression: What should the doctor ask?', Australian Family Physician, 35 163-165 (2006)

Background: There are barriers to doctors detecting depression in general practice. We wondered what questions patients thought the doctor should ask to explore it appropriately. ... [more]

Background: There are barriers to doctors detecting depression in general practice. We wondered what questions patients thought the doctor should ask to explore it appropriately. Methods: One hundred and thirty-six teacher trainees, teachers, and students in the community, most of whom had experienced depression, were studied qualitatively in interviews and focus groups. They were asked to suggest what questions they would find helpful from doctors to elicit their experience of depression. Transcripts were grouped by gender and content analysed. RESULTS Subjects suggested starting with open questions that act as signals for moving into emotional areas followed by specific questions about specific somatic expressions of depression. Men preferred questions about shorter fuse and anger toward others, while women were happy with questions about increased crying. Discussion: If confirmed in other sectors of the community, these data may allow doctors to increase patients ' comfort with their exploration of possible emotional problems such as depression.

Citations Scopus - 2
Show 6 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Lloyd AB, Gore J, Harris J, smith M, Gruppetta M, Holmes K, '"Unlocking capacity and empowering choices¿: Indigenous students¿ aspirations for higher education' (2016)
Co-authors Maree Gruppetta, Adam Lloyd, Jenny Gore, Maxwell Smith

Report (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Harris JL, Spina N, Ehrich LC, 'Student-Centred Schools make the Difference', Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 46 (2013)
2013 Harris JL, Caldwell BJ, Longmuir F, 'A culture of trust enhances performance in schools', Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 44 (2013)
2011 Vaughan T, Harris JL, Caldwell BJ, 'Bridging the gap in school achievement through the Arts', The Song Room, 36 (2011)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 8
Total funding $846,877

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20171 grants / $39,072

Community influence on university aspirations: Does it take a village?$39,072

Funding body: National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)

Funding body National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)
Project Team Professor Jennifer Gore, Doctor Leanne Fray, Doctor Adam Lloyd, Doctor Jess Harris, Miss Sally Patfield
Scheme Research Grants Program
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1701286
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON Y

20166 grants / $792,805

Locating Aspirations: Evidence to support participation in higher education of low SES students from regional and remote Australia$278,450

Funding body: Department of Education and Training

Funding body Department of Education and Training
Project Team Professor Jennifer Gore, Doctor Leanne Fray, Doctor Jess Harris, Doctor Adam Lloyd, Professor Geoff Whitty, Professor Max Smith
Scheme Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme (HEPPP)
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601033
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON Y

Faculty matching funding for UON PRC scheme 2016/17$200,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team

Prof Max Smith; Prof Penny Jane Bourke, Prof Tracy Levett Jones; Dr Elena Prieto-Rodriguez; Dr Drew Miller; Dr Adam Lloyd; Dr Leanne Fray; Dr Jess Harris; Mr Hywel Ellis

Scheme Faculty funding
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Learning Impact: Evaluation of QuickSmart Maths$169,091

Funding body: Social Ventures Australia

Funding body Social Ventures Australia
Project Team Professor Jennifer Gore, Doctor Drew Miller, Doctor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez, Doctor Jess Harris, Doctor Adam Lloyd, Doctor Leanne Fray
Scheme Learning Impact Fund
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1600614
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

"Unlocking Capacity and Empowering Choices": Indigenous Students' Aspirations for Higher Education$134,012

Funding body: Department of Education

Funding body Department of Education
Project Team Professor Jennifer Gore, Doctor Jess Harris, Professor Max Smith, Associate Professor Maree Gruppetta, Doctor Adam Lloyd, Professor Kathryn Holmes
Scheme Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1600151
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON Y

Investigating reflection, feedback and evaluation in pre-service and supervising teacher conversations during professional experience$6,252

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Jess Harris, Professor Jennifer Gore
Scheme Linkage Pilot Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1601178
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

An ethnomethodological investigation of student engagement$5,000

Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20131 grants / $15,000

Student-Centred Schools make the difference$15,000

Funding body: Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)

Funding body Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)
Project Team

Jess Harris, Nerida Spina, Lisa C. Ehrich, Judy Smeed

Scheme Contract
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo
Type Of Funding Contract - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFC
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed3
Current4

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.7
PhD0.85

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 Masters Education for Learning Equity: Interventions to Support Student Reengagement in High School Education in the Innovation Age M Philosophy (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2017 PhD The Role of Teacher Self-Efficacy in Ameliorating Teacher Burnout - a Mixed Methods Study PhD (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2016 PhD Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice: Exploring the Terrain of Potentiality for Australia's Aboriginal Students Within a Culturally Fortified, and Critical Model for Mathematics Education PhD (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2015 Masters Innovative Futures: Design education in the Australian Curriculum M Philosophy (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 PhD “Boom! And it’s all about data”: The Quantification and reorganisation of Australian Education. An Institutional Ethnography Education Studies, Queensland University of Technology Co-Supervisor
2014 PhD 'Moving up, but not moving out’: A policy ecology of the Excellent Teacher Program/Scheme in Malaysia Education, The University of Queensland Co-Supervisor
2014 PhD Primary Teachers’ Talk in the Bruneian Context: Representational Fluency and Consequences for Science Classrooms Education, The University of Queensland Co-Supervisor
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Dr Jess Harris

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email jess.harris@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 49854548

Office

Room HC64
Building Hunter Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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