College – Issue 41

ACADEMIC Jamie delves into leadership and courage

Deputy Head Prefect Jamie Barr’s research skills received a boost this year when he became a research ambassador for a project initiated by the Education University of Hong Kong. It started small, but through the process Jamie learnt new skills – about interviewing and note- taking, for example – and about leadership within the Christ’s College community and the school framework to foster boys to make their own decisions as individuals. Speaking to an assembly in May after receiving an award in recognition of his work, Jamie said he was one of 26 research ambassadors worldwide (including 2020 Year 13 Jack Drage) who worked with academic staff from Hong Kong over a 12-month period. They carried out research into cross-cultural student leadership in Round Square schools. It started with answering questions on a Google form, and progressed to a series of interviews. “We were sent a series of questions and we each interviewed two teachers and four students,” he says. “This process sure improved my skills of interviewing and note- taking, as I found methods that were more efficient than others. But I also enjoyed the sense of naturalism the interview format provided for the research, because

“It takes courage to challenge a decision made by friends when you know it will be viewed as a weakness by them.” Jamie Barr to act according to conscience and do ‘what is right’ in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.” writing, editing and publishing a report – all these steps led Jamie to specifically explore the depths of courage within leadership. “Those who show courage discover in themselves the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Their moral courage enables them it became easy to ask follow-up questions, keeping a natural flow of the conversation.” Zoom calls to other representatives; creating presentations about what leadership looked like to him; and

Jamie says through standing up for what is right – “no matter how people react in the face of your decisions” – he has learnt that leadership within the College community shares similarities with schools around the world. “It takes courage to remind peers to make good decisions when they are having fun. It takes courage to challenge a decision made by friends when you know it will be viewed as a weakness by them. It can sometimes take courage to stand up for a victim, too. When wanting to action change in the school environment, it takes courage to bring ideas to the floor.”

Christ’s College Canterbury


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