Leaders and contexts: Comparing English and Hong Kong perceptions of educational challenges

Mike BOTTERY, Siu Keung George NGAI, Ping Man WONG, Ping Ho WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

This article investigates the perceptions of English headteachers and Hong Kong principals about the kinds of pressures which affected the way they did their job. ‘Portraits’ of individuals derived from semi-structured interviews were examined to answer questions about:- the effects of legislation over the last two decades; the inspection procedures used by government; the effects of ‘marketisation’, parental choice, and competition; and whether problems, time and energy were felt by these individuals. In addition, they were encouraged to identify pressures unique to them and their school context. The findings suggested that : 1. English headteachers were more critical of, and embattled by, their legislative context than their Hong Kong counterparts; 2. Hong Kong inspectoral processes were viewed as much more helpful and benign than the English processes, though both were seen as requiring an excessive investment of time and energy; 3. in both contexts, where pupil numbers were declining, market issues were much more prominent, and where numbers were stable or rising, they had much less saliency; 4. both sets of interviewees described a worrying accumulation of pressure through the sheer quantity of material with which they had to deal; 5. individual personality and local context were crucial for understanding how issues were mediated. Copyright © 2008 Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
JournalInternational Studies in Educational Administration
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Citation

Bottery, M., Ngai, G., Wong, P. M., & Wong, P. H. (2008). Leaders and contexts: Comparing English and Hong Kong perceptions of educational challenges. International Studies in Educational Administration, 36(1), 56-71.

Keywords

  • Primary Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development

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