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2017, Bahrain

YearHost CountryVenueDate FromDate To
2017 Bahrain Crowne Plaza 6 March 9 March

Conference Speakers

The 35th Annual Conference will see a diverse and impressive selection of speakers in attendance. We know that you will share in our enthusiasm. Keynotes include Prof. Yong Zhao, Professor in the School of Education, University of Kansas, and Joshua Jay – Conjurer, Lecturer, Performer of All-Things-Mysterious. We have also secured the expertise of Dr Ger Graus OBE, Director of Education and Partnerships at KidZania UK and former Chief Executive of the Children’s University as well as Barry Speirs, Head of Leadership Consultancy at RSAcademics. We will be running at least one panel discussion and are fortunate to have Mishal Kanoo, Chairman of The Kanoo Group, in attendance.

Name Yong Zhao, Professor in the School of Education, University of Kansas
Summary

Yong Zhao is a Foundations Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia.

Yong previously served as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership.

His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes(2016), Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes (2015) and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (2014) to name a few.

Until December, 2010, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence.

Zhao was born in China’s Sichuan Province. He received his B.A. in English Language Education from Sichuan Institute of Foreign Languages in Chongqing, China in 1986. After teaching English in China for six years, he came to Linfield College as a visiting scholar in 1992. He then began his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He received his A.M. in Education in 1994 and Ph.D. in 1996. He joined the faculty at MSU in 1996 after working as the Language Center Coordinator at Willamette University and a language specialist at Hamilton College.

Name Joshua Jay – Conjurer, Lecturer, Performer of all things Mysterious
Summary

Joshua Jay has spoken on magic and creativity at Google headquarters and lectured on deception at universities and museums across the US. He recently appeared onstage at the Rubin Museum as part of their Brainwave series, performing and speaking alongside neuroscientists on the role the brain plays in illusions. In 2012 he consulted and developed a unique commercial spot for HBO, using sleight of hand to promote Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire

Joshua Jay is also the author of thirteen books including the best-seller, MAGIC: The Complete Course, and has had his fine-art photography exhibited in several shows (appearing recently at the Culture Museum in Linz, Austria).

Joshua maintains a globetrotting performance and lecturing schedule and has performed in over fifty countries as well as appearing regularly on US national television.

Name Dr Ger Graus OBE
Summary

Dr Ger Graus OBE is a respected figure in the field of education. He is Director of Education and Partnerships at KidZania UK, the UK's first educational entertainment centre where children aged 4 to 14 experience the world of work through role-play.

Dr Graus was the founding Chief Executive of The Children's University (CU) Trust in 2007 and CU Trading in 2013. Under his watch, The Children's University became a multiple-award winning international charity providing 5 to 14 year olds with exciting and innovative learning opportunities - through its ‘Passport To Learning’ - outside of the school day, at weekends and during school holidays.

Dr Graus moved to the UK in 1983 when he began his teaching career at Taverham High School in Norwich. He next moved on to a management position at Winifred Holtby School in Hull. He was Education Adviser to Manchester City Council (1991-96), responsible for the introduction of Modern Foreign Languages in primary schools. He was also a co-optee on the Curriculum Working Group for Modern Foreign Languages.

In 1996, he became Senior Inspector for Salford City Council where he was responsible for introducing the Government's Excellence in Cities initiative.

Dr Graus was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University in 2011 and was made an Adjunct Fellow by the University of Adelaide in 2013.

Name Barry Speirs
Summary

Barry Speirs joined RSAcademics in 2014 as Head of Leadership Consultancy after a long international career in Human Resources with leading multinational companies.  As the author of The Art of International School Headship, Barry conducted research with over 100 leaders of international schools in Asia and the Gulf region.  The research benefited from his many years of work experience in Asia, the Middle East, North America and Eastern Europe.  He has held HR Director positions with Burmah Castrol and BP, as well as a number of specialist regional roles in leadership development and employee relations for firms which include PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Barry has a post-graduate qualification in HR and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).  He works with various members of the RSAcademics consultancy team, particularly with our former Heads, to provide schools with support in a number of HR and leadership areas.

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