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2011 - 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 254 words || 
1. Cravens, Xiu. and Zhang, Xinping. "What is a high-quality school? Views with different lenses on educational reform in China" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2019-08-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper seeks to gain insight into the Chinese national reform for Quality-Oriented Education from the perspectives of key players in reform design and implementation – policy researchers, administrators of local bureaus of education, and school principals. Grounded in theoretical and empirical literature on social class reproduction, human capital development and school effectiveness, our study was designed to answer three research questions: (a) What are the measures for effective school management as perceived by those at the frontline of educational reform? (b) How do these measures align or differ from the intended national reform agenda? (c) What are the challenges and opportunities for the design and implementation of school effectiveness standards for Quality-Oriented Education? Using the snowball sampling method, we conducted 48 semi-structured interviews with 15 policy researchers, eight educational administrators, and 25 principals in 2009. Interview results were theme-coded and analyzed with qualitative research software. We also collected and examined policy documents regarding establishing new standards for school effectiveness at the national, provincial, and county levels. Findings reveal the convergence of a set of measures for effective school management: principal-led collaborative leadership team; culture of collective trust; pursuit of high quality instructions; evidence-based evaluation and accountability; and democratic principles in school management. Our analysis also identified points of tension between policy mandates and unintended detriments to local adaptability and innovation. This study underscores the urgency of establishing school effectiveness standards that are not only aligned with the reform priorities but also operationalizable based on sound field research.

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