Harris, Brigitte

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Dr. Brigitte Harris is an experienced leadership educator with a passion for providing relevant and engaging learning experiences for adult learners. Her research interests include qualitative research methods, especially narrative inquiry and arts-based research, learning and teaching in higher education, workplace and professional education, and leadership in healthcare settings. She was an associate faculty member from 2001 to 2007 and then worked for the B.C. government for several years before returning to Royal Roads in 2011 as an associate professor. Harris has extensive experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching, program evaluation and course and program design. After completing her PhD, she developed and taught graduate courses in adult teaching and learning, integrated studies, research methods, curriculum design, evaluation, reflective practice and writing instruction at Brock University. During this time, she worked on several research projects examining leadership and organizational change. Harris’s teaching and research experience is complemented by her work with the B.C. government, which included research, evaluation, stakeholder consultation and engagement strategies for organizational transformation. Harris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Guelph, a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Concordia University and a PhD in Education from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Computer-mediated and group supervision of student capstone projects: Enhancing the learning experience
    (Royal Roads University, 2016) Rowe, Wendy; Harris, Brigitte; Graf, Marie; Rogers, Sandra
    This article describes the use of a digital learning platform to facilitate group supervision of student completing their capstone projects for a MA in Leadership Program. To address the problem of social and academic isolation experienced by students in traditional one-on-one supervision, the authors sought ways to use the digital learning platform Moodle© to provide a supportive and collaborative learning environment, similar to what students experienced earlier in the program. Following a pilot demonstration period of 2 years, 35 students and 5 supervisions were surveyed and engaged in focus group discussion to obtain their assessment and feedback on the benefits and challenges apparent in the use of the digital learning platform to provide group supervision to these students. Students noted many positive benefits in support of a collaborative learning environment using the digital platform, while some supervisors were more mixed in their assessment of this supervision approach. Some faculty were adamant that the group supervision digital platform saved them time and helped them be more consistent and focused with students. Other faculty were concerned about the difficulties inherent is using the technology effectively. Results are discussed in light of relevant literature.
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    Dialogic change and the practice of inclusive leadership
    (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017) Agger-Gupta, Niels; Harris, Brigitte
    Purpose: This chapter explored theories related to inclusive leadership, and the application of inclusion and collaboration principles in a master’s-level leadership program. Design/Approach: We reviewed the concept of inclusive leadership, its theoretical grounding in social construction, and the role of collaboration and dialogue in learning, creativity, and what has been called, “dialogic change” in creating an inclusive culture. The application of four principles —leadership as engagement, engaged scholarship, orientation to possibility, and learning as transformation —have been critical to the practices of the authors as leadership educators and in teaching leadership. Findings: Inclusive leadership practices can have a dramatic positive impact on employee engagement, organizational culture and, ultimately, on organizational effectiveness. Moreover, inclusive leaders can effectively navigate through a context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, through engaging those affected by these issues. Social Implications: Universities play a key role in making the world a better place by educating future leaders to work effectively and respectfully with others by fostering creative problem solving. When faculty and staff embrace inclusive leadership principles in their work together, they generate creativity, and improve their effectiveness. As leadership educators, we not only model inclusive leadership principles; we use them as a framework for our teaching. Originality/Value of paper: Our leadership journey from theory to practice is of interest to leadership educators, scholars, and practitioners seeking to better understand and apply the concept of inclusive leadership in their particular settings. While our setting is Canadian, we argue the theoretical discussion and principles have broader application.
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    From barriers to breakthroughs: Student experiences of the RRU Learning Model
    (2017-09-01) Walinga, Jennifer; Harris, Brigitte
    Royal Roads University’s (RRU) Learning and Teaching Model describes educational practices and program design features that promote transformational learning. While institutions or programs may espouse some elements of the Model, the process by which they were identified and drafted into a statement that both espouses and guides the University’s teaching and learning approach is, to our knowledge, unique in a higher education setting. A dean, and two faculty members set out to capture what made RRU’s learning and teaching approach distinctive, and engaged in successive discussions with faculty and staff members to deepen their understanding and ensure they captured learning practices across the University. The resulting document, Royal Roads University Learning and Teaching Model (Hamilton, Márquez, & Agger-Gupta, 2013) was vetted by faculty again before it was finalized (Márquez, personal communication, June 24, 2013). The resulting document described a unique and integrated educational approach and values. This educational approach often differs from what our students have experienced in their previous education. As faculty members, we have observed that new students may experience a learning curve associated with the University’s instructional practices and learning environment. While many students have told us that they were drawn to the philosophy of the University, they soon realized that their previous educational experiences and the way they have learned to learn did not prepare them for the learning and teaching expectations in many of the Royal Roads University programs. For instance, how does one co-create knowledge when he or she has only experienced learning as transmitted from a teacher-expert? How does one learn with student-peers in community when, a students’ previous experience of learning was a process between teacher and student? Or, how does one translate the traditional conception of academic rigour into an applied learning and research context? This paper explores RRU students’ experiences of learning to learn at RRU. We will identify ways that students reconcile tensions, conflicting beliefs, assumptions and values in order to more fully and effectively experience and benefit from RRU’s transformational learning approach.