Change and Continuity: A Critical Analysis of Principal Development Policy in Mainland China (1989–2011)
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This article analyses the continuities and changes in principal development in mainland China over the past two decades by assessing the role of the state in shaping principal development over this period. The article outlines and analyses the 14 key policies that have shaped the practice of principal development. The main changes identified include formal recognition of the need for and potential of principal development to effect change in schools; growth in the number and background of training providers; and shifts in the stated purpose, content, curriculum and pedagogy of principal development programmes. The 'continuities' are the enduring power of the state in shaping the ideology that dominates principal development, such as framing it as both a national obligation and a right. We argue that the state has maintained a strong role in shaping principal development in mainland China over the last two decades, but at the same time, has (at least rhetorically) sought to promote increased school autonomy and build more effective schools. This indicates that principal development stands at an important juncture in China.
Educational Management, Administration and Leadership
Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education