The past two decades have witnessed the great developments in principal training in China. Research on principal training in China is increasing in quantity and quality with its expanding practice. The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyze the changing landscape of scholarship on principal training in China by examining the quantity of publications, themes covered, methodological approaches and the status of articles published from 1989 to 2008, as listed in the Chinese Database of Journals. This is the first serious academic effort to review and reflect on the Chinese scholarship of principal training and school leadership development. In conclusion, suggestions are outlined for future development of this academic field in China.
This paper explores the relationship between leader values and actions in the Chinese context. The Chinese Value Instrument (CVI) and the Strategic Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ) were used as the primary data collection tools. The CVI was used to measure the presence of ten values: (1) social harmony, (2) benevolence and honesty, (3) initiative and innovation (challenge and creativity), (4) achievement and power, (5) zhongyong (practicality and modesty), (6) stability, (7) familial loyalty, (8) happiness, (9) renqing (sympathy) and guanxi (personal relationships), and (10) freedom and equity. The findings indicate that achievement and initiative were at the low end of the value continuum. Familial loyalty, social harmony, and benevolence were at the high end of the value continuum. The SLQ measured the managing, transforming, bonding, bridging, and bartering actions leaders use to mobilize and gain support from followers. The findings indicate that the Chinese school principal management prototype is formed around transforming and bonding actions. This prototype changes depending on role assignment and school type. A connection between leader values and actions was established with regard to the values of achievement and power, benevolence and honesty, and stability.
The Shanghai Municipal Education Commission convened an important conference in early 2010. A major focus of the conference was the apparent failure of the New Curriculum Reform to take root in schools. One of the conclusions presented at the conference was that school principals were responsible for the gap between the intent and effect of the curriculum reform. This article uses data collected from a group of Shanghai secondary school principals to examine the state of the curriculum reform from “the inside.” The main purpose of the article is to identify why the principals themselves believe that the reform is not working as intended and indeed whether they are in some way complicit in the slow rate of reform implementation. Principals involved in the study suggest the contradictory messages they receive from government officials about how principals’ work should be formally and informally assessed do little to promote meaningful reform implementation. Therefore, it is suggested that one of the main reasons why curriculum reform has so far not been able to bring about deep change at secondary school level is the enduring cultural norms which continue to underpin societal expectations and accountability, rather than a lack of curriculum leadership on the part of school principals.
This paper examines a group of Chinese educational leaders’ leadership practice changes after undertaking a leadership development course offered by an Australian university in China. It presents their self-reported changes in leadership practice profiles and features selected vignettes. The study was primarily qualitative and interpretative, based on the interview responses of 20 participants. The findings showed that exposure to different perspectives appeared to expand participants’ views and equip them with a wider range of leadership strategies. Despite some observable differences in practices reported by participants from the three sectors (school, educational system, and university), there seemed to be more similarities than variance. The respondents were cautious about radical changes in leadership practice, reiterating that local contexts and cultures must be considered when accommodating Western educational ideas. The study suggests that participants’ self-reported changes in leadership practices resulted from mediation of contextual and cultural conditions rather than the direct transfer of Western ideas and practices into the Chinese context.
Citizenship is a complex and multidimensional concept. There has been a tendency to compare traditions of citizenship in the West with those in the East, captured by a stereotype that depicts the West as individualistic and the East as collectivist. The purpose of this study is to investigate what kind of citizenship is exhibited by Chinese university students, including both their civic perception and their civic participation. Using a recently developed distinction between thin and thick citizenship, the findings from both quantitative and qualitative data analysed in this study reveal that Chinese university students tend towards thin citizenship, as they demonstrate positive civic attitudes yet lack strong evidence of participatory citizenship. The paper also discusses the impact of Confucian and other Chinese traditional value systems on typical views of citizenship held by Chinese students, and offers the suggestion that the citizenship education curriculum should incorporate experiential learning.
Word problems play a crucial role in mathematics education. However, the authenticity of word problems is quite controversial. In terms of the necessity of realistic considerations to be taken into account in the solution process, word problems have been classified into two categories: standard word problems (S-items) and problematic word problems (P-items). S-items refer to those problems involving the straightforward application of one or more arithmetical operations with the given numbers, whereas P-items call for the use of real-world knowledge and real-life experience in the problem-solving process. This study aims to explore how Chinese upper elementary school mathematics teachers think of the place and value of P-items in the elementary mathematics curriculum.