Leadership preparation for new and aspiring high school principals: a case study in south-west China

Xue, Sarah Shan (2021) Leadership preparation for new and aspiring high school principals: a case study in south-west China. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

In 2013, the Ministry of Education in China launched a set of National Qualifications and Standards for Headship in China, which aimed at guiding and supporting the professional development of principals in China. This is also the first time that the concept of the professionalisation of principals was documented by policymakers. This thesis outlines research aimed at understanding the leadership preparation process, in terms of how new leaders were selected, recruited, and developed. Following the preparation process, the research also examined the impact of the preparation process, in terms of leadership enactment and principals’ socialization.

There was an overarching research model to guide the implementation of the whole study, focused on three fundamenatal issues related to leadership preparation in China, as well as the relationships between and among these issues. The three issues in the model are Standards and Qualifications, the preparation process, and their impact on new principals. The study also explores the linkages and relationships among these aspects, as well as factors that impact on leadership preparation. Four main themes were identified from the literature; definitions of leadership, leadership development, principals’ socialisation, and leadership enactment. The literature review showed that the number and quality of publications in China on this issue were limited, particularly in respect of leadership preparation and the professionalisation of principals, when compared to increasing interest and awareness at administrative and practical levels.

A sequential mixed-methods case study was applied when conducting the field study, using various instruments, including questionnaires, interviews, documentary analysis, field notes and mini case studies. Five findings chapters were generated from the data from various participants, including new and aspiring principals, programme providers, administrative officials and three mini school-based case studies. The data analysis identified four overarching themes about leadership preparation in China; definitions of leadership, leadership development processes, principals’ socialisation, and leadership practice. The research model helped to intrepet the data, and also illustrates that leadership preparation in China requires a more systematic approach to programme design and implementation.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Bush, Tony
Ng, Ashley Yoon Mooi
Keywords: leadership preparation; principal training; new principal difficulties; principal socialisation; China
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Education
Item ID: 65078
Depositing User: XUE, SHAN
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 04:41
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2021 04:41
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/65078

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