The purpose of this paper is to report on an exploratory study designed to illuminate the complexity of outsourcing extra-curricular activities (ECAs) in primary schools…
The purpose of this paper is to report on an exploratory study designed to illuminate the complexity of outsourcing extra-curricular activities (ECAs) in primary schools in a time of neoliberal influence and to examine the views of teaching professionals on the reasons, issues and considerations of outsourcing ECAs such as the dynamic relations between ECA coordinators and service providers, and between teachers and parents.
The qualitative research that informs this paper is conceptualized within the interpretive paradigm since it aims at understanding the thoughts of 20 teaching professionals including 16 teachers and four principals with regard to the outsourcing of ECRs in times of promoting other learning experiences in schools. This interpretive paradigm emphasizes naturalistic methods of inquiry.
Two major themes which demonstrated the driving forces for outsourcing educational activities as well as the dynamic relationship between teaching professionals and service providers arising in the process of outsourcing emerged from the interview data. This paper illustrates that the neoliberal impact on the implementation and quality of ECAs needs to be understood as a much more complicated process shaped by the local context.
A major limitation is the small number of samples in primary schools in this qualitative study. Another area of possible investigation is the noticeable extension of the study area to the sectors of kindergartens and secondary schools.
From management perspectives the finding carries the implication that outsourcing must be carefully planned have explicit goals and systematically implemented.
The finding enriches the understanding of how neoliberal thinking creeps into management of outsourcing ECAs in schools.
The study does not aim at generalization of the findings but it attempts to illuminate the phenomenon of outsourcing ECAs in primary schools in Hong Kong. To support the empirical findings of the present qualitative study, it is recommended that follow-up quantitative studies be conducted, with larger sample sizes and more diverse sample groups included in the population.
The purpose of this paper is to report on an exploratory study regarding the present situation of middle managers in schools; their professional development needs; and…
The purpose of this paper is to report on an exploratory study regarding the present situation of middle managers in schools; their professional development needs; and requirements of middle leaders for quality school management so that contents of existing professional development programmes could be improved to meet the needs of middle leaders of primary school education.
Employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, this paper reports on a study of the training needs of middle leaders in primary schools in which their present situation, their needs for professional development and requirements for quality school management and leadership are explored. The study adopted survey questionnaires as the main method of data collection. To supplement quantitative data with regard to the professional development needs, six middle managers were purposefully selected for semi-structured interviews.
The findings suggest that there are insufficient training opportunities for middle leaders in primary schools and that there is a strong demand for including the notions of interpersonal skills, crisis management, resources management and understanding of education ordinances in the professional development curriculum for middle leaders. The study recommends that training programmes should exert focus on meeting the specific needs of middle leaders and the content and approach be multi-dimensional.
In spite of the small scale of the survey study, the data collected from individual in-depth interviews can provide the investigators with supplementary information on their professional development needs which also serves the purpose of triangulation. The finding can also be a very constructive reference for course providers who wish to re-engineer and improve the quality of professional development programmes for middle leaders. This may help arouse their interests and enhance their learning motivation.