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  • Source: International Journal of Educational Management
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  • Journal Articles

    1. Neoliberal challenges in context: A case of Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to systematically analyze the neoliberal challenges and problems facing public schools in the particular Hong Kong context.Design/methodology/approach: Based on a systematic and critical analysis on the history and socio-political context of Hong Kong's school policies and practice as well as the official documents and statistics, this paper examines the impacts of neoliberalism in four main aspects of school education in Hong Kong: school governance, accountability, privatization and government expenditure.Findings: Convergence, as well as deviation, on neoliberal globalization occurs in the particular Hong Kong context. School bureaucracy has irresistibly expanded. Policymakers have placed increasing emphasis on instrumentally evaluating schools while decentralizing, diversifying and privatizing education. School leadership has become focused solely on succeeding within those imposed performance management and metrics, pulling ahead of school competitions and prioritizing easily quantifiable and measurable tasks. Teachers have faced a potential threat from the loss of autonomy through the market logic and consumerist metrics. The rise of privatized education has further intensified school practices based on competitiveness and performativity. On the other hand, resource cutbacks and financial constraints – problems that are generally inflicted by neoliberal discourse – have rarely occurred in Hong Kong.Research limitations/implications: This study is part of concerted efforts in research that adopts the comparative and critical perspectives emerging from different social contexts to consider and flesh out how neoliberalism look across the school systems, how it challenges the systems differently, and how it evokes various responses from within the systems (Apple, 2001). Taken all the efforts together, a finely nuanced understanding of the trails of neoliberalism can help collectively re-discover school education as a social good
  • Journal Articles

    2. A model for promoting student participation in school governance
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to highlight the urgent need for a genuinely effective and attainable citizenship education model in Hong Kong’s schools, which focusses on promoting student participation in school governance. It is an empirical citizenship education management model for school leaders that illustrates the predictive effects of personally responsible, participatory, justice-oriented and patriotic citizenship, necessarily supported by school management practices, school ethos and teacher beliefs.Design/methodology/approach - A total of 3,209 students from 51 secondary schools in Hong Kong participated in a quasi-experimental design questionnaire survey. A structural equation model (SEM) was applied to confirm the model.Findings - The results of the SEM show that the values and cultural practices held by a school’s teachers drive the implementation of its citizenship education. Moreover, it is well known that organizational values can exert a powerful influence and it is the same within educational structures: management practices in schools have an impact on ethos, teachers’ beliefs and student participation in school governance.Practical implications - The paper provides practical proposals for school leaders to create opportunities for student participation in school governance.Originality/value - This study builds on existing literature and provides school leaders with a practical model for implementing student participation in school governance. Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Journal Articles

    3. Push and pull factors influencing Mainland Chinese MEd students in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: International Journal of Educational Management, 33(7), 1539-1560, 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the key factors affecting Mainland Chinese students pursuing a Master of Education degree in Hong Kong on their study abroad decision and return intentions. Design/methodology/approach: The current study employed a mixed-methods approach to investigate factors that affect Mainland Chinese students pursuing MEd degrees in Hong Kong. Participants were first invited to fill out a questionnaire. After collecting and analyzing the survey data, in-depth interviews with a selected group of students were carried out by the research team to obtain useful qualitative data to triangulate the survey findings. A purposeful and convenience sampling method, carried out through the personal network of the research team, was used to recruit MEd Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong to participate in the current study. Findings: The findings provided compelling evidence that Hong Kong was an attractive study destination to this particular group of MEd Chinese students. The findings also indicated that academic factors were more important than social, cultural and economic factors when it came to choosing their study destination. In contrast to previous studies, participants expressed a much stronger desire to return home upon graduation. The three most influential predictors of their decision to return were the lack of a Hong Kong teaching certificate (r=+0.36), the opportunity to contribute to their hometown (r=+0.31) and the inclination to be closer to family and friends (r=+0.20). Originality/value: While a number of studies have been carried out to study why Mainland Chinese students chose Hong Kong as their study destination to pursue their teacher training degree, none of these studies focused exclusively on fee-paying MEd Chinese students. Hong Kong is facing keen competition from both traditional host countries and emerging host countries to recruit students from Mainland China. It is therefore crucial to understand the needs of
  • Journal Articles

    4. A study of the mobility of mainland students: Factors and issues behind pursuing a teacher education program in Macau
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the international mobility of mainland students in special administrative regions of China and in places outside China.Design/methodology/approach - There have been studies using the framework of push–pull and reverse push–pull factors to explore the movement of mainland students to North America, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. This study follows up by exploring such research directions in Macau, which is another special administrative region of China. Different from previous studies, the sample of this study came specifically from 130 students enrolling in teacher education undergraduate programs in Macau.Findings - In this study, using data collected from questionnaires and interviews, the factors affecting mainland student teachers’ choice of Macau as a place for their undergraduate studies are examined. Other related issues such as the challenges these students face and their intentions after their graduation are also studied.Originality/value - The data collected for this study were primary and original, drawing specifically from students enrolling teacher education programs. Following the various studies on the global movement of mainland students, this study aimed at understanding mainland students’ mobility pattern in one of China’s special administration regions, Macau. In this regard, cultural identity and cultural factors were considered on top of other factors. Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Journal Articles

    5. School competition in Hong Kong: A battle of lifting school academic performance?
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Under-examination of the notion of competition between schools has created a considerable asymmetry between the reality and the literature of schooling. Therefore, this study investigates the validity of school competition and verifies the propositions regarding the effects of school marketing practices in literature, particularly DSS and aided schools in Hong Kong. It tests the relationships between student intake and school academic performance and school marketing practices. It also compares the pattern of the relationships between the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) and aided secondary schools. Secondary data from 441 secondary schools were retrieved from a popular secondary school admission magazine in Hong Kong and from the schools’ websites. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the school’s academic performance was positively related to discretionary student intake. In addition, marketing school academic performance, but not marketing school features, was positively related to student intake. Lastly, it was found that marketing school academic performance intensified the relationship between the school’s academic performance and student intake in aided schools but not in DSS schools. The results were interpreted as demonstrating that school competition in Hong Kong is a battle of lifting academic performance. Copyright © 2019 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Journal Articles

    6. Understanding reflection for teacher change in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: International Journal of Educational Management, 31(7), 1135-1146, 2017
    Year published: 2017
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to study how reflection affects the teacher change with a focus on teaching practices under education reforms in Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopted narratives as the research design to unveil the contents of teachers' reflection and how the contents affect their change in teaching practices under education reforms. Findings: The study finds that teachers' reflection starts with completion of curriculum ("technical level"), then consideration of students' learning needs ("practical level") and finally, the social justice and equality ("critical level"). The levels of reflection teachers engage have significant influence on their change. The higher the level of reflection teachers have, the more motivated the teachers to explore new teaching practices not only for the learning needs of students in classroom but also for the society outside classroom. Originality/value: This study underlines the value of reflection in the process of teacher change in their teaching practices.
    [Copyright of International Journal of Educational Management is the property of Emerald Publishing Limited.]
  • Journal Articles

    7. Managing school-based professional development activities
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: International Journal of Educational Management, 31(4), 445-454, 2017
    Year published: 2017
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a model to assist school leaders in managing the professional development activities of teachers. The model illustrates the important role of principals in promoting continuing professional development (CPD), chiefly by cultivating a collaborative learning culture and formulating policy. Design/methodology/approach: This study tested a framework based on the input of 103 CPD coordinators in Hong Kong, who participated in a quasi-experimental design questionnaire survey. Factor analysis and reliability tests were applied to verify the constructed validity and reliability of a self-developed instrument. A Structural Equation Model (SEM) was then applied to confirm the model. Findings: The result of the SEM shows that principal support has a predictive effect on CPD policy and a collaborative learning culture, while the effectiveness of a CPD plan is predicted by collaborative culture and management strategy. Originality/value: This study contributes theoretically to existing literature and practically to school leaders, by supplying a model for managing teacher CPD.
    [Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited.]
  • Journal Articles

    8. Size matters: The link between staff size and perceived organizational support in early childhood education
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: International Journal of Educational Management, 30(6), 1104-1122, 2016
    Year published: 2016
    Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
    Purpose–The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between staff size and perceived organizational support (POS) in early childhood education (ECE) organizations. Design/methodology/approach–A territory-wide questionnaire survey was designed to investigate the perceptions of preschool teachers in Hong Kong on four dimensions of organizational support, namely, teacher participation in decision making, school management support, school performance in organizational support, and organizational negativity in organizational support. In total, 2,066 teachers from 189 schools were sampled with stratified random sampling. Confirmatory factor analysis and latent mean analysis were employed. Findings–There was a significant relationship between staff size and POS. Specifically, teachers working at small schools in terms of staff size reported significantly higher POS than their counterparts in medium and large schools in aspects including teacher participation in decision making, school management support, and school performance in POS. Conversely, both medium and large schools had higher scores on organizational negativity. Research limitations/implications–There may exist other factors (e.g. principal leadership), which are not investigated in this study, that influence POS. Future studies are needed to capture a fuller structural relationship among an array of factors that influence POS. Originality/value–Research on staff size and POS has been conducted separately, without one element informing the other. The findings of the present study will stimulate more research on POS and staff size. The study will stimulate thinking about whether larger preschools are more efficient than smaller preschools in terms of scale of economies in a marker driven, ECE context. Building upon the foundation laid by the study, future studies may explore the interaction between staff size and POS on intended student outcomes in ECE.
    [Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
  • Journal Articles

    9. Teacher learning communities: The landscape of subject leadership
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: International Journal of Educational Management, 30(2), 287-307, 2016
    Year published: 2016
    Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
    Purpose – Teacher learning communities (TLCs) formed within subject departments are conceptualized as reform platform for facilitating school improvement and teacher development. The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which three TLCs were structured and managed for generating change capability in secondary schools in Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach – A review of the literature on the contribution of learning communities to teacher professional development, and the functions and styles of subject leadership provides the theoretical background of the study. Participant observations and semi-structured interviews were employed as the main instruments for the investigation into the potentials of TLCs for enhancing professional renewals. Narrative accounts were obtained from a total of 21 teachers (including three subject leaders) on the nature and process of their participation in the renewal projects. Findings – The findings of the interview study reveal the landscape of subject leadership orientations that shaped the collaborative practices, power relations and knowledge representations within TLCs. Variability is noted in the subject leaders’ concerns for harmonious relationship, executive control, professional growth and leadership empowerment. The spectrum of knowledge structure in these communities is marked by a hierarchical relationship on one end, and a heterarchical relationship on the other. Research limitations/implications – This paper portrays the dynamics within three TLCs, and depicts a continuum of three leadership styles. The literature on subject leadership in TLCs could be enriched with further investigations into the contextual variables and sources of influence that affect the choice of leadership orientations of subject leaders who grapple with a balance between managerial imperative for control and accountability and a learning imperative for participative explorations that satisfy teachers’ aspirations for autonomy
  • Journal Articles

    10. Principal leadership and school capacity effects on teacher learning in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2016
    Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
    Purpose – Over the past decade, studies of school leadership effects have increasingly aimed at identifying and validating the paths through which principal leadership impacts key teaching and learning processes in schools. A recent meta-analysis by Robinson and colleagues identified principal practices that shape teacher professional development experiences in schools as the highest impact path used by instructional leaders. The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships between principal leadership, dimensions of school capacity, and teacher professional learning in 32 Hong Kong primary schools. Design/methodology/approach – The study employed a cross-sectional research design and quantitative methods to analyze teacher perceptions of principal leadership and key school conditions. The research employed hierarchical linear regression analysis to explore survey data collected from a sample of 970 teachers. The surveys covered a range of principal leadership and school capacity dimensions, as well as a measure of teacher professional learning. Findings – Results indicated that multiple dimensions of principal leadership made significant contributions to both school capacity and teacher professional learning. The presence of cooperation, trust, communication, support for students, and alignment, coherence, and structure in schools also affected teacher professional learning. Research limitations/implications – These findings contribute to the global discourse on leadership for learning. The study addresses the need established by multiple scholars (e.g. Leithwood, Hallinger, Heck, Robinson, Witziers) for research that further illuminates “paths” and “intermediate targets” through which leadership impacts teaching and learning. The findings elaborate on the means by which leadership can enhance school capacities that directly impact teacher classroom practice and student learning. Consistent with other scholarly research (e.g. Bryk and Schneider, Louis and colleagues
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