Considerable attention has been paid to the concept of ‘leading for learning’ (Goker, 2006), but little attention has been paid to the teaching and learning of civics in schools, and to how these might be facilitated by school principals (Xu and Law, 2015). This study adopted a qualitative approach to examine how principals can create civics-based teaching environments, and how these may influence teachers in their roles as “civic educators”. The results showed that the complex historical-cultural and socio-political contexts of Hong Kong have influenced school leadership when it comes to teaching civics, and the researcher has highlighted three main patterns of school leadership needed for civics teaching. When school leadership lacked a clear vision of citizenship education (pattern 1), most teachers were compliant and avoided discussing sensitive political topics with their students. When school leadership mediated the diverse needs of students and balanced the different expectations of school stakeholders (pattern 2), there were both compliant and critical teachers. When school leadership had a clear vision of the school‘s civic mission (pattern 3), the results differed across schools. These findings implied that principals have to significantly shift their understanding of the purposes of citizenship education and of their own roles, in order to provide greater autonomy for teachers. Copyright © 2018 APNME.
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2018|