06 Sep, 2022
16 : 11
Meet Mr Malcolm Harrison – A servant leader who recognises individuals
We are delighted to announce that Mr Malcolm Harrison has joined YWIES Yizhuang as Western Principal starting from 1 August 2022. Served as Western Vice Principal at YWIES Shanghai Lingang prior to taking up this new role, Mr Harrison has been a valuable member of the YCYW family since 2021. Originally from the United Kingdom, Mr Harrison is an experienced international educator with extensive knowledge in boarding school management. He has also worked as Headmaster, Secondary School Director, Curriculum Director, Chemistry and Economics teacher in international schools across China, the UK, Japan and Korea.
Mr Malcolm Harrison earned a wealth of experience in international education whose driving force and source of educational inspiration are fuelled by being a ‘servant leader’.
Having worked in a bilingual environment for over 15 years, Mr Harrison believes that students of all nationalities benefit greatly from bilingual learning. He sees the importance of being conversant with multiple languages given the increased interconnectivity between commerce, academic ideas and cultural exchange arising from the rapidly changing dynamics of the 21st century. Mr Harrison states that “this is just a part of the gain, these students will also develop into more balanced and well-rounded individuals possessing an air of confidence that their peers in monolingual schools can rarely match,”. Such quality comes from the embrace of multiple cultures and acquisition of knowledge, ideas from around the world as well as through engaging in a wider variety of sports and activities, which result in the development of a richer and more vibrant personality.
Aside the overall benefits of a bilingual education, Mr Harrison also believes in the concept and benefits of ‘servant leadership’. This educational philosophy was introduced to him by Dr Lee Kwangmin, a successful Korean businessman and author who later became a school investor. The idea of being a servant leader advocates a concept that a teacher should not merely pass on knowledge but also work to create an environment where students can flourish. A teacher should believe that students have an innate desire to learn and by providing an environment where growth and efforts are rewarded, they can produce amazing results in the area they have passions for. Mr Harrison sees that such approach is being reflected in our ECE (Early Childhood Education) emergent curriculum, where children express their own ideas and teachers encourage development of these interests. Mr Harrison has internalised the meaning of a ‘servant leader’, which is not to give people what they ‘want’ but rather what they ‘need’. As a servant leader, Mr Harrison shares that when faced with a difficult decision, he often reflects and rethinks, ‘what can I do to help this student or teacher grow?’ He considers himself very lucky to be working for an organisation that embraces this model years after being inspired by the concept of ‘servant leadership’.
Mr Harrison’s goals for his initial 5-year tenure at Yew Wah is to have the school recognised as a top school in Beijing for Chinese students in the light of ‘servant leadership’. It is an all-encompassing goal for Mr Harrison who seeks not only just the best in academic achievement, artistic prowess or athletic success but also to promote the well-being, character development of students as well as providing emotional support. He explains that “everyone will have unbelievably high expectations to achieve this goal, but it also implies that each student can get individualised and targeted instruction.” As school principal, his role is to help the faculty and staff achieve their potential in addition to helping the students. Mr Harrison expects every teacher to help every student with different approaches while maintaining consistencies in the fundamental expectations. In his opinion, it is crucial for students to understand what is required, so the academic staff can also understand clearly these basic expectations. Mr Harrison explains that on this basis, teachers are empowered to take risks in pursuit of higher levels of student learning and development knowing they will be supported as individuals.
It is Mr Harrison’s mission to identify the individual needs of every student and teacher through which their best way to grow and develop is entrenched in his educational philosophy of being a servant leader. He hopes to strengthen the uniqueness and magnify the child-centred approach of the Yew Chung Yew Wah model by building upon the passionate and proud learning of individuals within our community by listening to them. We believe that his success will be measured by the individual accomplishments of each student.
While Mr Harrison is looking forward to serving Yizhuang, we wish Mr Harrison all the best in his new educational endeavours!