This paper addresses in three parts the theme of school transformation in Hong Kong. First, it outlines the three main reforms of the 1990s affecting both school…
This paper addresses in three parts the theme of school transformation in Hong Kong. First, it outlines the three main reforms of the 1990s affecting both school management and curriculum, namely, the School Management Initiative), the target‐oriented curriculum, and the Education Commission Report No. 7 on Quality Education. Second, it reviews the effects of these reforms to date. Finally, it discusses two important issues arising from the reforms, namely, the need to re‐orientate the nature and form of the school‐based management system adopted and the need to take greater cognisance of the societal culture of Hong Kong, especially at the school level, the point of implementation of the reforms.
This study aims, first, to chronicle the perceived dilemmas of a group of Australian principals whose worklives were preoccupied with school restructuring. Second, relying…
This study aims, first, to chronicle the perceived dilemmas of a group of Australian principals whose worklives were preoccupied with school restructuring. Second, relying on empirical data, it develops a typology of dilemmas. This typology then forms the structure for a more detailed discussion of the nature and source of dilemmas encountered by the participating principals. Data were collected and analysed using qualitative methods, based on semi‐structured interviews with 20 Western Australian primary and secondary principals. The findings suggest two main types of dilemmas – general, values‐based personal‐professional dilemmas, called “states of mind”, and specific, practical, organisational dilemmas. It is argued that improving the knowledge base by using empirical studies and developing typologies and conceptual frameworks, is a necessary step in providing closer insights as to how school leaders perceive and manage the most intractable aspects of their worklives. This, is turn, could lead to improvements in leader preparation and training.
While Singapore's outstanding educational achievements are well known worldwide, there is a disproportionate paucity of literature on school leadership practices that…
While Singapore's outstanding educational achievements are well known worldwide, there is a disproportionate paucity of literature on school leadership practices that contribute to and support pedagogical initiatives that – along with socio‐cultural factors – are normally considered responsible for its educational success. The aim of this paper is to explicate system‐wide school leadership factors that contribute to Singapore's educational success.
The paper includes critical discussion, review of literature and conceptualization.
It is argued that three unique features of Singapore school leadership, namely – logistics of a small tightly‐coupled school system, human resource policies that reinforce alignment, and a distinctive “leader‐teacher compact” reflecting the predominant Chinese culture – account for the extraordinary level of tight coupling and alignment of leadership across the school system. In turn, these unique features bring synergies of sustainability, scalability, succession, and high performance across the entire Singapore school system.
Unique features of Singapore school leadership must be examined in conjunction with pedagogical initiatives and socio‐cultural factors for a more complete and nuanced understanding of educational success in Singapore.
Tightly coupled mechanisms of leadership underlie the success of Singapore education. Government needs to consider whether such tightly‐ coupled leadership will continue to serve it well in future, given the demand for twenty‐first century knowledge based skills.
The influence of socio‐cultural factors (e.g. leader‐teacher compact) on educational success merits inclusion in any explanation.
This paper addresses an important gap in the literature by promulgating crucial features of school leadership that contribute to Singapore's educational success.
This paper describes a grounded theory that emerged from a study of Hong Kong Protestant secondary school principals’ values and their impact on principals’ perceptions…
This paper describes a grounded theory that emerged from a study of Hong Kong Protestant secondary school principals’ values and their impact on principals’ perceptions and management of problems. This substantive theory is labelled the “value‐based congruence theory”. It implies first, that values influence how Hong Kong principals perceive and manage problems in their schools. Second, that particular principal's value orientations correspond with their behaviour in terms of their perceptions, problem‐solving strategies and the outcomes experienced. Principals’ value orientations fall along the following five value dimensions: the relationship, reform, empowerment, client‐focus and rationality dimensions. These correlations result in five principal types – the pacifists, the progressive mentors, the philosopher mentors, the pragmatists and the eclectics. However, other factors, namely, personal and organizational characteristics as well as the value properties of clarity, commitment, consistency, versatility, breadth and focus, are found to moderate the linkages between principals’ values and their concomitant responses.
There is increasing support for the importance of the principal′sinstructional leadership in school effectiveness. However, there isuncertainty over the extent to which…
There is increasing support for the importance of the principal′s instructional leadership in school effectiveness. However, there is uncertainty over the extent to which principals actually engage in instructional leadership tasks. Investigates the perceptions held by principals and teachers of principals′ instructional leadership in a sample of Western Australian government primary and secondary schools using the Instructional Leadership Questionnaire. Instructional leadership was found to be a shared responsibility. Principals were perceived to be least involved in “managing the curriculum” and “evaluating and providing feedback”. Primary school principals were perceived to be more responsible for instructional leadership than their secondary counterparts. Principals of very small primary schools (less than 100 students) were most involved in tasks and those of middlesized primary schools (300 to 500 students) were least involved. “Providing rewards and recognition for high quality teaching” was the only instructional leadership task perceived not to be performed by either principals or teachers in both primary and secondary schools. Principals perceived themselves to be more involved in instructional leadership tasks than their staff perceived them to be.
This article aims to identify the main challenges faced by headteachers after taking up their first headship in the UK. It also compares how these challenges have changed…
This article aims to identify the main challenges faced by headteachers after taking up their first headship in the UK. It also compares how these challenges have changed over time. Other purposes include the setting of the initial phase of headship within a whole career model and how heads become socialised into the role.
Based on evidence from empirical studies using longitudinal data over a period of 20 years, the paper reviews the challenges faced by new headteachers in the UK; it also advocates a stage model for studying the principalship.
Many of the main challenges experienced by new headteachers remained the same over a 20‐year period; most of the differences were accounted for by changes in government policy over the period. The main difficulties included catering with the legacy of previous incumbents, overcoming established school cultures and communication behaviours, coping with poorly performing staff, and countering a poor public image of the school.
The paper uses the main longitudinal data set available on the challenges and difficulties experienced by beginning headteachers in the UK; it also contributes conceptually to the socialization of headteachers and suggests a stage model of headship, relating the beginning phase to a holistic perspective of headteachers' career trajectories.