Policies of career education facilitate the sustainable development of young people in aspirations, identities and pathways of their career development in senior secondary education. In Hong Kong, the policy has been implemented in public schools since 2014. Principals are responsible for leading a whole-school participation in career education for all students. However, student population of individual schools is more diverse than where they were due to a large number of immigrants from different parts of mainland China and other Asian societies. Many principals have experienced the challenges of increasing diversity in schools, if not any opportunity. This paper aims to explore principal leadership for whole-school participation in student career development. Two research questions are asked: What are the challenges of whole-school participation facing the principals in diverse contexts of individual schools? To what extent do students with different cultural, religious and social backgrounds experience the importance of career development in senior secondary education? We adopted a case study of three secondary schools located in different school districts in Hong Kong. The principals were invited to individual semi-structured interview, while 4 to 7 students from each grade of senior secondary education were invited to a focus-group interview in each school. The findings unveil discrepancy of the expected outcomes of the education between the principals’ experiences of the challenges from a leadership perspective and the students’ experiences of any opportunity for their career development from a user perspective. Potential for positive change through the participation in CLP education varies depending on individual students’ awareness, aspiration and exploration of personal career goal. Implications of principal leadership for whole-school participation in career education in relation to equal opportunity for all students are also discussed. Copyright © 2019 UCEA.
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2019|