Keywords : Academic Achievement

Exploring Chinese School Principal Experiences and Leadership Practice in Building a Professional Learning Community for Student Achievement

Wei Zhang; Tetyana Koshmanova

International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 2021, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 331-347
DOI: 10.33844/ijol.2021.60594

This basic qualitative study explores Chinese high school principals' concepts, experiences, and opinions in building a professional learning community for student achievement in China. The semi-structural interview protocol was used to collect data from Chinese principals (N = 12) to investigate their challenges for school practical recommendations. Findings show that principals face three major challenges: (1) high exam score culture and top schools cause disengagement and lose educational core values; (2) parent high expectation causes difficulty of school growth; (3) lack of enough educational resources cause insufficient administration, teaching, and learning. In addition, findings show that principals play three major roles: (1) reconciling top-down policy intent role; (2) head role; (3) mediating role. Further, this study found that principals use three strategies to build a professional learning community: (1) communication, (2) value-based policy, and (3) engagement with a high salary and support program. Finally, this study found that school principals need to shift from the high testing score to emphasize educational core values. They also need to shift from power and authority to transformational, distributed, social-justice, and Junzi leadership; and from student testing score sole evaluation system to integrated teaching pedagogical support system for delivering high-quality teaching. Therefore, future studies could use the exploratory sequential mixed methods research design to explore how school principals use social justice, distributed, Junzi, and transformational leadership in the K-12 school contexts in the United States and China.