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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School
Phone:
(023) 8059 9158
Email:
M.Kaparou@soton.ac.uk

Dr Maria Kaparou BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer

Dr Maria Kaparou's photo

Dr Maria Kaparou is a lecturer at Southampton Education School and she has teaching commitments in the undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes. Maria is supervising PhD students in the field of leadership and management in education settings in the UK as well as within the international context (e.g., England, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia).

Maria is currently the Employability Lead of Southampton Education School (2017-today) and she has been Associate Director of the BSc (Hons) Education programme for three academic years (2016-2019).

Prior to her appointment to the University of Southampton (January 2016), Maria was assistant professor of educational leadership and management at the University of Nottingham (expanding her international experience in the Malaysia campus) and a senior teaching fellow in the MA Educational Leadership and Management programmes at the University of Warwick (UK). Maria has been educational manager in the private sector in Athens Greece and she has taught education programmes in secondary, further education and higher education, within centralised and partially decentralised educational systems (England, Greece, Malaysia).

Maria had developed her expertise in comparative educational leadership and management (PhD holder in Instructional Leadership within a comparative education policy context) at the University of Warwick, UK. Her doctoral thesis examined the enactment of instructional leadership in high-performing secondary schools, and the relationship between leadership and learning in enhancing student progress and encouraging teachers’ professional development in England and Greece.

Maria is the winner of the prestigious British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Best Thesis Award 2015 (https://www.belmas.org.uk/Latest-News/winner-of-thesis-award-2015). In 2013 Maria received a University of Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence in Higher Education.

Maria is an active early career researcher, with a good record of successful applications for research grants. She has been leading and/or contributing to funded research projects in primary/secondary education, Further and Higher Education at national and international contexts (see below in Research Projects).

Dr Maria Kaparou’s research interests include: educational leadership and management, particularly focused on instructional leadership (Leadership for Learning); education policy; school improvement; research in Multi-academy Trusts (MATs); leadership of international schools; international and comparative education; diversity and leadership; leadership and management in Higher Education.

Maria is the coordinator of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) Network, MoREI, which is a network for Methods of Researching Educational Effectiveness and Improvement (MoREI).

Awards

Maria is the winner of the prestigious British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Best Thesis Award 2015 (https://www.belmas.org.uk/Latest-News/winner-of-thesis-award-2015). Her doctoral research has been recognised as ‘a study with the most significant contribution to the field of educational leadership, management and policy’, while it enhances theoretical significance grounded in comparative empirical research.

‘The quality this year was exceptionally high, a really good reflection of where we are’, said Professor Peter Earley, Professor of Education Leadership and Management at UCL Institute of Education London.

‘There were nine submissions this year and the winner was Maria Kaparou for her thesis on learning centred leadership in two education systems, a very good read indeed’, Professor Earley said at the awards presentation ceremony.

Maria, also, has been awarded a doctoral bursary by BELMAS (2011-2013).

The calibre of Maria’s teaching has been independently verified. In 2013, Maria received a University of Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence in Higher Education (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/ldc/personal/funding/watepgr/2013/kaparou/) for her innovative teaching methods in Higher Education.

Memberships

  • External activities and associations:
  • British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI)
  • Leadership for Learning: the Cambridge Network (LfL)
  • London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL)
  • European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)- Junior Researcher of EARLI
  • Steering Group in the Beauchamp Group (School support network) - Schools of Tomorrow

Research interests

Maria’s main research interests are:

  • Educational leadership and management, particularly focused on instructional leadership/Leadership for Learning;
  • Education policy;
  • School improvement;
  • International and comparative education;
  • Diversity and leadership;
  • Leadership and management in Higher education;
  • Research in Multi-academy Trusts (MATs);
  • Leadership of international schools.

Ambition Institute Project

Leading school improvement in challenging contexts: The experience of ten headteachers during their first year in post

Phase 1 Literature Review: Kaparou, Burg, Downey & Kelly (2018)
Phase 2 Research Report: Downey, Burg, Kaparou & Kelly (2018)

This is a research project funded by Ambition Institute

Publication: Downey, C., Burg, D., Kaparou, M. and Kelly, A. (2019) School improvement in challenging contexts: insights from ten new headteachers. London: Ambition Institute.

You can download the research report via https://www.ambition.org.uk/research-and-insight/school-improvement-challenging-contexts/.

Affiliate research groups

Centre for Higher Education at Southampton (CHES), Leadership, Educational Effectiveness & Policy

Research project(s)

System instructional leadership for collaborative partnerships for school-to-school improvement within emerging Multi- academy Trusts (MATs)’. Maria Kaparou (PI) and Daniel Muijs (CI).

Leadership preparation for FE college principals

Impacting a School Impacting a Nation: Bringing Creativity and Innovation into Primary Education

‘Leading international students’ communities of learning within departmental extra- curricular activities: A case study in a Russell Group University in England’

Leadership responsibilities:

  • Employability Lead of Southampton Education School (2018-today).
  • Associate Director of the BSc (Hons) Education programme for three academic years (2016-2019).
  • 'Sharing the World' International Seminars Co-ordinator (2016-2017).

Teaching and supervision responsibilities

Undergraduate programme: 

  • Leading and Managing in Education (EDUC2029, Year 2) - Module co-ordinator and tutor (2016- today).
  • Contemporary Debates and Issues in Education (EDUC3028, Year 3): Module co-ordinator and tutor (2017- today).
  • Dissertation supervision (2017-today).

Postgraduate Taught programme (MSc Education): 

  • Leadership in Education (EDUC6345) - Module tutor (2016-2018).
  • Organisation & Governance (EDUC6349) - Module tutor (2016-today).
  • Management in Education Organisations (EDUC6349): Module co-ordinator and tutor (2018-2019).
  • Understanding Education Research (EDUC6353) - Module tutor (2016-2017; 2019).
  • Dissertation supervision (2016-today).

Postgraduate Research programme (PhD): 

  • PhD students’ supervision (2016-today).

Other responsibilities

Apart from her academic and research commitments, Maria is reviewer for international peer-reviewed journals (Educational Management, Administration and Leadership; School Leadership & Management; School Effectiveness and School Improvement; Management in Education) and member of the international editorial board for the Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Management (MOJEM).

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Articles

Book Chapter

Conferences

Reports

Ambition Institute Project

Leading school improvement in challenging contexts: The experience of ten headteachers during their first year in post

Phase 1 Literature Review: Kaparou, Burg, Downey & Kelly (2018)
Phase 2 Research Report: Downey, Burg, Kaparou & Kelly (2018)

This is a research project funded by Ambition Institute

Publication: Downey, C., Burg, D., Kaparou, M. and Kelly, A. (2019) School improvement in challenging contexts: insights from ten new headteachers. London: Ambition Institute.

You can download the research report via https://www.ambition.org.uk/research-and-insight/school-improvement-challenging-contexts/

Research Conferences

AERA Annual Meeting (April 2019, Toronto Canada): Diagnosing school improvement priorities during the first year of a new Principal.  Chris Downey, Maria Kaparou, Anthony Kelly, Damon Burg.

BELMAS 2019 (July 2019, Leicestershire, UK): Novice and experienced new-in-post headteachers lead learning in schools facing challenging circumstances within Multi-academy Trusts in England. Maria Kaparou, Chris Downey, Anthony Kelly and Damon Burg.

ICSEI 2019 (Stavanger, Norway):  

  1. The benefits of hindsight: comparing the experience of novice and experienced headteachers reflecting on their approach to school improvement during the first year in post as the head of an underperforming school. Chris Downey, Maria Kaparou, Anthony Kelly, Damon Burg. 
  2. New-in-post principals of schools in challenging contexts within Multi-academy Trusts in England. Maria Kaparou, Chris Downey, Anthony Kelly and Damon Burg.

ICSEI 2018 (Singapore): System instructional leaders as leading actors of a ‘multi-unit enterprise’ for increasing collaborative intellectual and leadership capacities in Multi-academy Trusts (MATs) in England. Maria Kaparou and Daniel Muijs.

BELMAS 2017 (Stratford-upon-Avon, UK): System instructional leadership for collaborative partnerships for school-to-school improvement within two emerging Multi-academy Trusts (MATs) in England. Maria Kaparou and Daniel Muijs.

ICSEI 2017 (Ottawa Canada): Collaborative partnerships for system-wide improvement within emerging Multi-academy Trusts (MATs) in England. Maria Kaparou and Daniel Muijs.

BELMAS Conference 2016: Unlocking leadership and management potential in different contexts. Paper presentation: ‘The challenge of leadership: ethnicity, culture, gender and class among school leaders in England, Malaysia and Pakistan’, Victoria Showunmi (presenting author) and Maria Kaparou, Carden Park Hotel, Cheshire UK, 8-10 July 2016.

ICSEI Conference 2016: Paper presentation: ‘Is Teacher’s Instructional Leadership (IL) a lever for school improvement?’, Glasgow Scotland, 6-9 January 2016.

Society for Research into Higher Education - SRHE Annual Research Conference 2015: ‘Leadership development and leadership activity within the ‘Cinderella’ sector: the perceptions of Further Education College principals’, Justine Mercer (presenting author), Phillip Whitehead and Maria Kaparou, Cardiff Wales, 9-11 December 2015.

European Educational Research Association - ECER 2015: ‘The Making of Cinderella’s Dress: How Further Education College Principals develop as Leaders’, Justine Mercer (presenting author), Phillip Whitehead and Maria Kaparou, Budapest Hungary, 7-11 September 2015.

BELMAS Conference 2015: Paper 1 (Disseminating findings of a BELMAS funded project): ‘The Making of Cinderella’s Dress: How Further Education College Principals develop as Leaders’. Presenting authors: Justine Mercer (presenting author), Maria Kaparou (presenting author) and Phillip Whitehead.

Paper 2: (Disseminating findings of PhD thesis): ‘Daring to link teachers’ instructional leadership to school improvement. Is it a luxury or imperative need? Evidence from outstanding secondary schools in England and Greece’, Reading UK, 10-12 July 2015.

International Conference on Education (ICOED) 2015: Paper: ‘What can be learned by outstanding schools in two European countries’, Bali Indonesia, 2-4 June 2015.

Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris – Sultan Idris Education University, UPSI Education Research Laboratory (UERL 2015). Invited speech: ‘Is Instructional Leadership the pathway to outstanding performance? Lessons learned from outstanding schools in two European countries’, Learning Space 1, UERL Building, UPSI Malaysia, 22 June 2015 (http://www.uerl.upsi.edu.my/#!activities-2015/c7y2)

University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) 2015 – Series of Research and Practice based Seminars. Paper presentation: The Leadership for Learning Trend in high- performing secondary schools in England and Greece, UNMC, 17 June 2015 (http://www.nottingham.edu.my/Education/documents/Series-of-Research-and-Practice-based-Seminars-2015.pdf)

BERA Conference 2014: Paper entitled 'Exploring instructional leadership in a cross-country comparative context: lessons from English and Greek high-performing secondary schools’, London, 23-25 September 2014.

International Journal of Arts and Sciences Harvard University Campus 2014: Paper presentation: ‘The Leadership for Learning Trend: Lessons from Outstanding Secondary Schools in Contrasting Educational Systems’, Boston USA, 26-30 May 2014.

British Council Researchers Link Project 'Education Leadership and Policy in Azerbaijan and the UK: Building Capacity for School Improvement'. Early career researchers from the UK and internationally had been selected to interact and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations. Khazar University Azerbaijan, March 2014.

BELMAS Conference 2013: Paper presentation: ‘Leading outstanding secondary schools in centralised and decentralised educational systems: lessons from England and Greece’, Edinburgh, 12-14 July 2013.

BELMAS Research Interest Group (RIG) Gender and Leadership 2013: Paper entitled ‘The professional journey of female secondary school principal leadership: evidence from a small-scale study in Athens, Greece’, Institute of Education London, 23 April 2013.

University of Cambridge – Faculty of Education Kaleidoscope Conference 2012: Paper presentation: ‘Comparing Instructional Leadership in HPSS in Greece and England’, Cambridge UK.

Warwick Institute of Education (WIE) Leadership Network Seminar Series 2012: Seminar in 'Conducting comparative research in contrasting educational settings'.

University of Cambridge 5th International Conference of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (2010): Paper presentation: ‘Young University Tutors' Motivation and Job Satisfaction within a Temporary Appointment Status Context in Greece: the case of a Technological Educational Institute’, Kaparou, M. (leading researcher and presenter), Panta, M., Papacharalambous, L. and G. Kaimakamis, 2-5 August 2009.

International Journal of Arts & Science (IJAS) Conference 2009: Awarded as ‘BEST PAPER’ in its track:

‘Motivation in the light of Higher Education in Greece: factors enhancing students’ effectiveness’, Kaparou, M. (leading researcher and presenter), Panta, M., G. Kaimakamis, and K.Siassiakos, Austria, 1-4 June 2009.

OECD International Conference 2008: Paper entitled ‘Quality Assurance in the light of ENQA policy in Greek Technological Educational Institutions (TEIs): Challenges and Prospects’, Kaparou, M. (leading researcher and presenter), Panta, M. and G. Kaimakamis, OECD Headquarters, Paris, 8-10 September 2008. Paper available at: www.oecd.org/dataoecd/3/32/41217961.pdf

Miscellaneous

In the process of writing and submitting manuscripts (for/under review) derived from recent projects (e.g., on system instructional leadership in emerging MATs; Higher Education in Oman; leadership in schools in challenging contexts).

Undergraduate programme:

  • Leading and Managing in Education (EDUC2029, Year 2) - Module co-ordinator and tutor (2016- today)
  • Contemporary Debates and Issues in Education (EDUC3028, Year 3): Module co-ordinator and tutor (2017- today)
  • Dissertation supervision (2017-today)

Postgraduate Taught programme (MSc Education):

  • Leadership in Education (EDUC6345) - Module tutor (2016-2018)
  • Organisation & Governance (EDUC6349) - Module tutor (2016-today)
  • Management in Education Organisations (EDUC6349): Module co-ordinator and tutor (2018-2019)
  • Understanding Education Research (EDUC6353) - Module tutor (2016-2017; 2019)
  • Dissertation supervision (2016-today)

Postgraduate Research programme (PhD): 

  • PhD students’ supervision (2016-today):

Graduated:

Amal Al Maqrashi’s PhD thesis (2019): Group dynamics and the construction of identities in Omani higher education: a case study of cultural diversity using a social identity approach. Supervisors: Prof. Tony Kelly  and Dr Maria Kaparou. Amal is a joint winner of the BELMAS Doctoral Thesis Award for 2019. http://www.belmas.org.uk/Annual-Conference-2019

Lina Khalil’s PhD thesis (2019): International schooling: a sociocultural study. Supervisors: Prof. Tony Kelly  and Dr Maria Kaparou

Current PhD students:

Fairuz Ain Harun: Instructional Leadership in Malaysia (provisional title). Supervisors: Dr Maria Kaparou, Dr Michael Tomlinson and Prof. Daniel Muijs.

Sotiria Kanavidou: A case study of a SEF group of secondary schools and FE colleges and their efforts to work as partnership for school improvement (provisional title). (Faculty-Awarded Presidential Scholarship). Supervisors: Dr Chris Downey, Dr Maria Kaparou and Prof. Martin Dyke.

Dr Maria Kaparou
Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, Building 32, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom

Room Number: 32/2053

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