Leading school for learning: principal practices in Taiwan

Hui Ling Wendy Pan*, Fong Yee Nyeu, Shu Huei Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how principals in Taiwan lead student and teacher learning at a time of leadership and learning paradigm shifts and the imminent implementation of the curriculum guideline for 12-year basic education. Design/methodology/approach: This study interviewed 32 elementary and junior high school principals purposively sampled based on reputation and recommendation from senior principals and government officials. Findings: As a society which values credentialism, principals in Taiwan face challenges in executing the vision of educating student as a whole person. The authors discuss how principals are solidifying whole person education as the espoused value, how they are enforcing school-based curriculum and effective instruction, and encouraging teacher professional learning. Principals are sharing power by recruiting stakeholders’ participation in guiding school development and enacting distributed leadership, while also building relationship as social capital and soliciting support from the community to establish the conditions to improve teaching and learning. Research limitations/implications: This paper highlights how principal practices are evolving in a time of changing conception of learning from academic achievement to multiple competencies and the shifting paradigm of power from participatory decision making to distributed leadership. This paper ends with a discussion on how leadership for learning (LfL) as a community engagement has emerged. Practical implications: With the shifting of the concept and paradigm of learning, principals in a high power distance society like Taiwan are now facing opportunities as well as challenges to lead teachers to engaging students in inquiry and collaboration. Originality/value: This paper highlights the indigenous practices of principal LfL in a high-performing East Asian education system in a time of changing notions of learning and leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-185
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Leadership for learning
  • Principal leadership
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration

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