Deciphering Chinese School Leadership: Conceptualisation, Context and Complexities, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Deciphering Chinese School Leadership

Conceptualisation, Context and Complexities, 1st Edition

By Allan Walker, Haiyan Qian


310 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367272746
pub: 2019-03-21
SAVE ~$9.99
Hardback: 9781138957046
pub: 2017-10-24
SAVE ~$29.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315665375
pub: 2017-10-23
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


With existing educational leadership models and theories being predominantly western influenced, this book aims to provide more insight into school leadership in China. It pioneers building research- and practice-informed knowledge and unravels the complexities that characterize the scholarship, context and practices of school leadership. School leadership in China is presented through four sub-purposes: investigating how Chinese school leadership is conceptualized in the international and Chinese literature; exploring the shifting context within which Chinese school leaders enact their leadership, and examining key policies that have shaped the practice of leader development; extending the understandings about the complexities of work lives of Chinese school leaders; and further locating indigenous understandings of Chinese school leadership in the political and socio-cultural context of contemporary China, and the theoretical and conceptual context of international school leadership. This text will be particularly useful to international education researchers with focus on educational leadership, comparative education, education policy and education in China.


"An important book that fills an enormous void in the knowledge base on leadership of China’s schools. It will also provoke re-examinations of some deeply-held, taken-for-granted assumptions about good leadership practice in Western schools."Clive Dimmock, Chair in Professional Learning and Leadership, University of Glasgow

"Professor Allan Walker is undoubtedly a world leading scholar on cross-cultural comparative educational leadership and leadership across Chinese societies.The book is the first of its kind to present more nuanced, accurate and dynamic illustrations of Chinese school leadership, and unravel the complexities that characterize the scholarship, context and practices of school leaders in China. The book captures the essential challenges facing school leaders in contemporary China, and expands research- and practice-informed knowledge about school leadership in non-western contexts." - Ting Wang, Professor in Education, University of Canberra

Table of Contents

List of tables

List of figures


Chapter 1. Leadership in China: Traditional expectations and cultural underpinnings

Section 1. Conceptualisation

Chapter 2. School leadership in China 1998-2016: A review of non-empirical Chinese literature

Chapter 3. School leadership in China 1998-2016: A review of empirical Chinese literature

Chapter 4. School leadership in China 1998-2016: A review of English literature

Section 2. Context

Chapter 5. The quest for quality: Education reforms since 1985

Chapter 6. The quest for equity: The education of migrant children in Shanghai

Chapter 7. Reform disconnection in China

Chapter 8. Principal development policy in China (1989–2016)

Section 3. Complexities

Chapter 9. Implementing curriculum reform: Leading teacher learning

Chapter 10. Leading with empathy

Chapter 11. Building and leading a learning culture

Chapter 12. Leading as state agents: Narratives of Shanghai principals

Chapter 13. Leading schools with migrant children in Shanghai

Chapter 14. Leadership for learning in Chinese schools

Chapter 15. Deciphering school leadership in China: Emerging propositions and future directions

About the Authors

Allan Walker is Joseph Lau Chair Professor of International Educational Leadership, Dean of Faculty of Education and Human Development and Director of The Joseph Lau Luen Hung Charitable Trust Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change at The Education University of Hong Kong. Allan is also a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leadership and co-editor of the Journal of Educational Administration.

Qian Haiyan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, The Education University of Hong Kong. Her main area of interest has been around school leadership in China; and the influence of the social and cultural context on schooling across Chinese societies.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Leadership
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Comparative