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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Allan Walker and Haiyan Qian

The purpose of this paper is to review English-language publications about school principalship in China published between 1998 and 2013 and to present an overview of the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review English-language publications about school principalship in China published between 1998 and 2013 and to present an overview of the authorship, topics, methodologies and key findings of these publications.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology includes an exhaustive review of journal articles and book chapters about Chinese school principalship published in the English language. In total, 39 articles and 17 book chapters are identified for the 1998-2013 period. Qualitative analysis is conducted to determine the basic patterns of authorship, topics, methods and key findings. The changes or continuities in these patterns during the study period are also discerned.

Findings

The paper identifies several continuous and discontinuous patterns in each of the review categories and provides a better understanding of on-going research into the practice of school principalship in China. The results also suggest areas that require deeper exploration.

Originality/value

This paper explores the landscape of school principalship in China as reflected in the international literature and indicates the ways that this landscape has changed or remained the same over the years. As such, the paper contributes to the thin knowledge base concerning school principalship in China and sheds light on the enduring local-global tension in the evolution of education systems.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Haiyan Qian, Allan Walker and Xiaojun Li

The purpose of this paper is to develop a preliminary model of instructional leadership in the Chinese educational context and explore the ways in which Chinese school…

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1747

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a preliminary model of instructional leadership in the Chinese educational context and explore the ways in which Chinese school principals locate their instructional-leadership practices in response to traditional expectations and the requirements of recent reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 selected primary school principals in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. A qualitative analysis was conducted to categorize the major leadership practices enacted by these principals.

Findings

An initial model of instructional leadership in China with six major dimensions is constructed. The paper also illustrates and elaborates on three dimensions with the greatest context-specific meanings for Chinese principals.

Originality/value

The paper explores the ways in which Chinese principals enact their instructional leadership in a context in which “the west wind meets the east wind”; that is, when they are required to accommodate both imported reform initiatives and traditional expectations. The paper contributes to the sparse existing research on principals’ instructional leadership in non-western cultural and social contexts.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Haiyan Qian and Allan David Walker

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to sketch the current policy context that frames the education of migrant children in Shanghai; to explore the work lives of school…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to sketch the current policy context that frames the education of migrant children in Shanghai; to explore the work lives of school leaders in the privately owned but government-supported schools; and to understand the socio-cultural and educational factors that shape the leadership practices in these schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper drew from publicly accessible policy papers and interview data with four principals leading migrant children’s schools in Shanghai.

Findings

Migrant children’s schools have received increasing policy recognition and attention. Principals of these schools have strived to adopt various leadership strategies to enhance the quality of education as received by migrant children. However, due to the institutional barriers such as hukou, multiple challenges continue to face migrant children and leaders leading migrant schools.

Originality/value

This is one of the first few papers that collected data from principals leading migrant children’s schools. The paper contributes to further understandings about leadership in high-needs school context and about education quality and equity in relation to programme for international student assessment success in Shanghai.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Allan Walker and Philip Hallinger

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from five systematic reviews of research on principal leadership in East Asia contained in this special issue. The goal…

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1642

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from five systematic reviews of research on principal leadership in East Asia contained in this special issue. The goal is to identify commonalities as well as differences concerning both approaches to research and the enactment of school leadership within this rapidly developing and increasingly influential region of the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The review uses thematic analysis of both structural elements and substantive findings drawn from the composite review papers.

Findings

The synthesis of the research reviews found considerable variability across the five societies in terms of the volume of work accessible to international audiences, topical foci, the conceptual and methodological sophistication, and findings. Three content patterns were discerned via the thematic analysis of the five reviews: first, influences on the principalship (incorporating personal, cultural and political sub themes); second, principal leadership practices (including qualities and styles, vision, indirect influence on student learning and shared decision making); and third, principal development (including preparation, training and professional development).

Research limitations/implications

In a broader sense, this synthesis paper seeks to assess the development of the field of applied study in East Asia over the past two decades. As such, the paper highlights implications for further building the knowledge base both in the region and globally.

Originality/value

This synthesis, as well as the five reviews, represent the first effort to mark the boundaries of knowledge about school leadership in these East Asian societies. As such, they lay a foundation for the future development of the field in the region, and in so doing also make a contribution to a more diverse global literature in the field.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Philip Hallinger, Allan Walker, Dao Thi Hong Nguyen, Thang Truong and Thi Thinh Nguyen

Worldwide interest in principal instructional leadership has led to global dissemination of related research findings despite their concentration in a limited set of…

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1276

Abstract

Purpose

Worldwide interest in principal instructional leadership has led to global dissemination of related research findings despite their concentration in a limited set of western cultural contexts. An urgent challenge in educational leadership and management lies in expanding the range of national settings for investigations of instructional leadership. The current study addressed this challenge in the context of Vietnam, a nation with a very limited formal knowledge base in school leadership (Hallinger and Bryant, 2013b; Hallinger and Truong, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to describe the perspectives of Vietnamese primary school principals toward their role as instructional leaders, illuminate instructional leadership practices perceived as important by the principals, and develop a preliminary model of instructional leadership within the Vietnamese education context.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was a qualitative inquiry that sought to illuminate the perspectives of Vietnamese principals toward their role as instructional leaders. The research employed semi-structured interviews with 27 primary school principals. Data analysis employed grounded theory in order to synthesize results gathered from the principals into a preliminary conceptual model.

Findings

The study yielded a preliminary model of principal instructional leadership in Vietnam. The authors’ model evidences similarities to western models of instructional leadership by including dimensions focusing on setting direction, managing curriculum and instruction and developing the school learning climate. Differences also emerged in terms of two additional constructs, building solidarity and managing external relationships. Other distinctive practices of Vietnamese instructional leaders also emerged in the findings which the authors suggest can be linked to the institutional, political and socio-cultural context of education in this society.

Research limitations/implications

Key limitations arise from the focus on primary schools, small size of the sample, absence of data from the Northern region of Vietnam, and lack of verification of principals’ perspectives with data from other stakeholders.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first empirical studies of Vietnamese school leadership submitted for publication in international refereed journals and the first study that has that sought to conceptualize the instructional leadership role of principals in Vietnam. Moreover, the study illustrates how conceptualizations of school leadership are shaped by features of specific societies. This lends credence to scholarly admonitions concerning the lack of universality of leadership theories.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Philip Hallinger and Allan Walker

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from studies of principal instructional leadership conducted in five East Asian societies. The authors first identify…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from studies of principal instructional leadership conducted in five East Asian societies. The authors first identify similarities and then differences in approaches to instructional leadership across the societies. Then the findings of the synthesis are compared with broad findings from the global literature on principal instructional leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a thematic approach to synthesizing findings from the five qualitative studies.

Findings

The authors identified numerous similarities in practices of instructional leadership across the five societies. These included first, a top-down approach to defining the mission and goals of schools whereby principals worked within a fairly narrow zone of discretion. Second, principals devoted relatively little attention to coordinating the curriculum due to working within strict national curriculum frameworks. Third, principals executed their instructional leadership practices with an ever-present sense of the need to honor hierarchical relations and maintain harmony among staff and other stakeholders. Differences across the five societies centered on the extent to which the instructional leadership role of principals was explicitly defined and the extent to which they received training for the role.

Originality/value

This synthesis sought to build upon reviews of research published in a special issue of this journal two years ago. The synthesis and this body of research papers have contributed toward moving empirical research on educational leadership broadly, and instructional leadership in particular, forward in East Asia.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Allan Walker and Haiyan Qian

This article aims to set the scene for this Special Issue on beginning principals and to inform one's understanding of how new principals manage their work lives to make a…

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2047

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to set the scene for this Special Issue on beginning principals and to inform one's understanding of how new principals manage their work lives to make a difference in their schools.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on recent literature on beginning principals, the paper draws together and analyses issues encompassing principals' formal preparation, recruitment, licensure and socialisation.

Findings

This article outlines the broader context that frames the lives of beginning principals across societies. It does this through focusing on three fairly general topics: the current expectations of principals and potential principals, which also touches on a shortage of principal candidates in some societies; the life of beginning principals, including strategies suggested by research for “surviving” those hectic first years; and issues related to principals' preparation and learning. These topics encapsulate the focuses of the articles that follow.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding that the quest for beginning principalship cannot be restricted by national or societal borders; it is one that calls for greater international cooperation and insight.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Meng Zhang, Allan David Walker and Haiyan Qian

This study aims to describe and analyze an innovative mechanism of teacher-led, system-wide professional learning that has been widely adopted since the beginning of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to describe and analyze an innovative mechanism of teacher-led, system-wide professional learning that has been widely adopted since the beginning of the twenty-first century in China – the Master Teacher Studio (MTS).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper drew from policy documents, published Chinese literature relating to MTSs and personal fieldwork experience in Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang province.

Findings

The article first outlines the context framing the system change, including its policy background and evolution, and then the MTS's purpose, formative process and structure. It finally examines major teacher learning activities and the leadership roles of the MTS hosts (leaders).

Research limitations/implications

This study contributed to the knowledge base of system teacher leaders and how they lead cross-school leading.

Practical implications

The MTS initiative described in this article shows the power of central system leadership to spread and embed effective teacher learning practices at schools.

Originality/value

This article provides implications for understanding and practicing teacher system leadership to support teacher professional learning in different societies.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

A. Ross Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key individuals, associations and significant events contributing to the establishment and first 50 years of successful…

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1285

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key individuals, associations and significant events contributing to the establishment and first 50 years of successful publication of the Journal of Educational Administration.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is historical in design. Information relevant to its 50 years of publication has been obtained from the JEA's 172 Editorials and from minutes of Editorial Advisory Board and Management Committee meetings, supplemented by personal editorial memoranda.

Findings

Recognised as one of the leading generalist international journals in its field, the Journal of Educational Administration has until recently been edited in Australia. The most eminent international scholars in the field have published in the JEA throughout its lifetime. Esteemed scholars have also occupied positions on its Editorial Board. The JEA has enjoyed close and supportive associations with several prominent professional organisations including UCEA and CCEA.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not include detailed information about the content of the almost 1,000 articles published throughout its history. This is the subject of other specific research undertakings.

Originality/value

The JEA was the first generalist international journal in the field of educational administration. Its first volume appeared in 1963. It has reached the age of 50 years and hence this paper's report of such may provide a basis for similar studies of other journals as they achieve significant milestones.

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Book part
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Abstract

Details

Leading Education Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-130-3

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