The west wind vs the east wind: Instructional-leadership model in China

Haiyan QIAN, Allan David WALKER, Xiaojun LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


This paper reports the findings of an in-depth qualitative study conducted in two major cities in southern China – Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The overarching aim of the study was to develop an indigenous understanding of instructional leadership in China. Most of the data were collected through interviews with 22 primary school principals. Drawing on these data, the study developed an initial model of Chinese instructional leadership that comprises six dimensions and a set of sub-dimensions. Among the six dimensions, three of them, defining purpose and direction; nurturing positive and collaborative relationships with and between teachers and fostering professional development to enhance teacher capacity, carry more context-specific meaning for Chinese school principals. The findings show that the ways in which the Chinese principals enacted their instructional leadershipwere shaped by both traditional values and the demands of recently implemented curriculum reforms. The principals seemed to have developed their own strategies for integrating traditional and imported approaches to improve teaching and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


Qian, H., Walker, A., & Li, X. (2017, March). The west wind vs the east wind: Instructional-leadership model in China. Paper presented at The Asia Leadership Roundtable 2017: Seven years on: The state of the Asian knowledge base?, Hotel Regalees, New Taipei City, Taiwan.


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