Leadership practice change: Critical perspectives from the Chinese educational leaders in an Australian offshore program

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    This paper explores Chinese educational leaders’ self-perceived practice change after undertaking an Australian offshore program from 2002 to 2003. The findings show that exposure to different perspectives appeared to expand participants’ views and equipped them with a wider range of strategies in leadership practice. The themes of leadership practice cases reported by the participants varied, with relatively different emphasis in each sector. School principals tended to place an emphasis on relational and operational issues and system officials appeared to be interested in the big picture issues.University administrators seemed to pay particular attention to relational issues like empowering, motivating, and involving staff. In spite of these differences, there seemed to be more similarities than variance in these aspects. Moreover, the participants seemed to be cautious about radical changes in practice, reiterating that local contexts and cultures must be considered when accommodating Western educational ideas. It is argued that participants’ self-reported changes in leadership practice were the results of mediation rather than the direct transfer of Western ideas and practices into the Chinese context. This study was primarily interpretative and based on the interview responses. Further research is suggested to investigate the long-term influence of this course upon the participants, through observations of participants and consultation with relevant stakeholders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCritical visions: Thinking, learning and researching in higher education
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 29th HERDSA Annual Conference
    EditorsAlison Bunker, Iris Vardi
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)0 908557698
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    Event2006 Annual International Conference of HERDSA - Perth, Australia
    Duration: 9 Jul 200613 Jul 2006


    Conference2006 Annual International Conference of HERDSA


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