Keynote 1: Tim Goddard

Friday 7th July
14:15 – 15:15

‘When the horizon is behind you: Global leadership in a flat earth world’

At his campaign launch rally in 2015, then-candidate Trump declared: “Twenty-five countries are better than us at education. And some of them are, like, third-world countries” (Millstein, 2016, p. 6).

We are living in an increasingly bipolar world, where reactions to the results of globalization – economic integration, human migration, instantaneous communication – are leading to the rebirth of tribalism. As people try to make sense of whom they are and how they are positioned on this planet, so the politics of difference are becoming exclusionary rather than inclusionary.

Such questions of individual and collective identity are important to educational leaders, for they run directly counter to the globalized world in which we work. It is in schools that these issues come together.  Educators are concerned with how they respond to the influx of children from non-dominant cultures, the marginalized and minority populations of the world, the dispossessed and the disenfranchised.  What are the ways in which school leaders with a strong commitment to the principles of social justice celebrate the diverse ethnocultural nature of schools, develop an acceptance of difference and the capacity to work across various cultures, and set high learning expectations for all students?

My intent in this keynote is to examine these and related questions in an attempt to identify and consider potential distractions on our horizons.


Millstein, S. (2016). The little book of Trumpisms. London: Portico.

Tim Goddard is Professor of Educkabul-schoolation at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. His research and teaching is in the field of educational administration and leadership, broadly defined, with a focus on international development and education in fragile communities.

Professor Goddard was Project Director for the Global Affairs Canada funded Teacher Certification and Accreditation of Teacher Training Institutions in Afghanistan initiative, a five year project which concluded in June 2016. His current research, which explores school leadership at the intersect of post-colonial, post-conflict and post-catastrophe contexts, is informed by that experience, as well as by a 40 year career spent engaged in emancipatory education initiatives and research with post-conflict, minority culture, and Indigenous communities in northern Canada, Kosovo, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea, Slovenia, and Sweden.