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Title: School leadership development in China: a case study of schools in one district education bureau
Authors: Zhang, Wei
First Published: 19-Jul-2019
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for Association for the Study of Primary Education (ASPE)
Citation: Education 3-13, 2019, 47 (5), pp. 505-519 (15)
Abstract: This paper considers the effectiveness of leadership development (LD) processes in relation to school leaders’ needs within an eastern Chinese District Education Bureau (DEB). The analysis is based on Chinese and English sources relating to LD, documentary analysis of DEB initiatives and interviews with ten school leaders from two schools. The findings reveal that LD within the district stalled at principal level because of the tension between their managerial interpretation of the role and the expectation that they should develop as leaders. Although leaders reported that the emphasis in development activities on classroom teaching and learning, the interpretation of policy initiatives and school visits were helpful, much of what the government is doing is counter-productive. Informants also said that poor outcomes tended to arise from factors beyond the scope of the LD programme itself, for example from the centralised regulatory system, from their own lack of power and influence, from the absence of programme-based or wider in-school support, and from limited evaluative studies. School leaders believed that they needed to be trained to review their own real-world work collaboratively and to devise improvement. They suggested that policy-makers should encourage an inquiry-based approach.
DOI Link: 10.1080/03004279.2018.1502335
ISSN: 0300-4279
eISSN: 1475-7575
Embargo on file until: 19-Jan-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for Association for the Study of Primary Education (ASPE). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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