This introduction chapter covers the background of the study, problem statement, research objectives, research questions, and study significance, organization of study and definitions of terms.
1.2 Background of the study
Educational management has attracted international interest in academics during the last few decades. In the realm of school administration, a new concept has emerged: education management. Despite the fact that educational management is becoming the most popular educational paradigms in the late twenty-first century, there is still a disagreement on education management, as philosophies theoretically improve schools, but in diverse ways (Liu & Hallinger 2018). Although there is no clear definition of educational management, it is generally understood to be a method of guiding others through principles, goals, and behaviors. “Management is autonomous of positional power and tends to focus more on the inspiring and motivating individuals who can effect organizational performance through their talents and abilities,” it was also recommended (Shengnan & Hallinger 2021). Educational management, on the other hand, is concerned with the upkeep and enforcement of school policy. Although there is no one definition, it refers broadly to a school-based strategy that stresses efficiency.
In previous decades, the significance of management theories has fueled the growth of educational management theories and practices. In industrialized countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, most theoretical frameworks and implementation initiatives have arisen. As a result of this regional mismatch, the Western paradigm quickly arose, since many EL theories were created in developed nations (Hallinger et al. 2019). As a result, most management theories were culturally, socially, and politically inapplicable in non-Western countries like China. A good example is that, in comparison to western principals, Chinese principals have less autonomy because they are nominated by the government, which means they must follow the government’s orders (Chen & Guo 2020). In such circumstances, EM frameworks designed in Western countries might not entirely fit to China’s local conditions.
Along with these challenges, the EM paradigm would not operate in non-Western societies, particularly in China’s complex context. (Zheng et al. 2019) carried out a study comparing principals’ EM practices in China and Western nations. The study’s findings reveal that EM in China has demonstrated no preconceptions of EM practices based on culture and contextual conditions, but that EM practices in Western countries are similar. Chinese principals frequently deal with Western EM concepts and local situations to enforce EM practices, implying that Chinese principals do not adhere to the EM framework that was created specifically for Western nations (Huang et al. 2020). Nonetheless, the rise of educational studies in emerging nations, particularly China, has helped to close the research gap. Educational management swiftly became one of China’s most researched issues, with studies focusing primarily on post-secondary education schools.
Since, academic research has concentrated on the cultural and societal influences on Chinese educational management. The structure of schools and the educational system have been extensively researched as scholars look for ways to enhance these areas (Meyer et al. 2022). In addition, the Education ministry announced two key national education policies, both of which provided possibilities for management practices in the classroom. School principals were encouraged to exercise educational management by the NCR (New Curriculum Reform) of 2001 and the PSPCE (Professional Standards for Principals in Compulsory Education Schools) of 2013. These policies paved the way for more research on educational management. Most school principals have used some form of instructional management in their schools as a result of such governmental backing, with varying success (Karacabey et al. 2022).
Educational management is utilized less frequently in China than educational administration. Despite the fact that educational management was on the local and international agenda when the policies were implemented, most Chinese principals lacked training in this idea and were unable to exercise educational management in their schools (Binti et al. 2020). Other principals combine educational management together with education management concepts since their schools will not get the resources for fully implementation of education management.
In Chinese schools, the status quo of educational management and management is susceptible to challenge because situations vary from school to school. The unique school structure is another key cause for the usage of EM in school management. The government enforced severe rules and restrictions on school structures, limiting the principal’s autonomy in schools (Ismail et al. 2018). Aside from the school principal, to make sure that students, teachers, and the administration follow the party’s moral code, the school must have a party secretariat and Communist party groups within the school. Duty overlaps and power disputes between the party secretaries and the principal usually have negative implications in schools, such as inefficiency and management concerns. In such circumstances, EM is commonly used to balance power between the principal and the party secretariat, and the teachers, who faithfully adhere to the rules (Kwan 2020). In such situations, the number of rooms in which to use EL is limited, therefore EM is commonly recommended. Because most research focus on higher education, the unsolvable challenge calls into question the status quo of EM practices in Chinese schools, particularly in primary schools. Aside from the complex education system for using EM, there are also research gaps in Chinese educational management.
China has a long history of placing a high value on education. There is a lot of societal and family pressure on students to excel academically. Throughout history, this has supported educational reform on a variety of levels. While the rest of the country has advanced in education, Henan has been granted special authority to test reforms ahead of the rest of the country (Purwanto et al. 2021). Given the country’s strong ranking in the PISA 2009 exam, all eyes are on how all of these reforms were implemented. Henan, a Chinese city, was the first to attain 100% enrollment in elementary and junior high school. It’s one of the first to attain nearly universal secondary school enrollment. It’s also worth noting that any students in Henan who wish to pursue higher education can do so. Pupils of migrant workers from rural parts of the country were included in universal education, accounting for 22% of school children in the metropolis (Hardwick-Franco 2019). (With a population of about 20 million people, that translates to roughly four million migrant schoolchildren.) These youngsters may be considered as a concern in other regions of China. Henan, on the other hand, is a city driven by migrants, which it has welcomed and absorbed into its curriculum.
China’s system of education has struggled to transition away from an exam-driven system that forces students to memorize facts in order to pass tests. Henan began a reform initiative in 1985, creating exams that tested the applicability of real world experience. Exams in the city no longer include multiple choice questions (Postholm 2018). Exams continue to exist notwithstanding the revisions. To make sure that they pass, an estimated 85% of pupils attend cram schools at night and on weekends. This is on top of nightly assignments and extracurricular, making a Chinese student’s life extremely stressful. The Chinese central government is informed of this issue, and its new reform initiatives for 2020 ask for a decrease in student workload. Henan is also aiming to improve students’ educational experiences so that they learn how to learn rather than simply memorize facts. The process revolves around an updated curriculum (Nasra & Arar 2019). This is where our research into education management begins. The perspectives of Chinese primary school principals and teachers on school management—a case study of Henan.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The majority of present research in educational management is focused on theoretical frameworks. Few studies have looked at the outcomes of educational management application. Most notably, there is a dearth of study on the impacts of educational management on school effectiveness and principal behavior. Furthermore, there is little scholarly interest in investigating primary school management behaviors. Only a few published publications have highlighted the importance of primary school principals and teachers in educational management. As a result, this study’s goal is to look into educational management techniques in Chinese primary schools in Henan, China, in order to address a knowledge pool.
1.3 Objectives of the research
- To examine the perspectives of primary school principals and teachers school management in Henan, China.
- To describe how the principals manage the schools in Henan, China, in light of current educational regulations.
- To examine the current state of contemporary school management style in Henan, China.
1.4 Research questions
Q1: How do the principals and teachers view education management of schools in Henan, China?
Q2: How can the principal manage the schools in light of current education regulations in Henan, China?
Q3: What is the current state of contemporary school managerial style in Henan, China?
1.5 Significance of the study
In summary, this research will concentrate on Henan, China, and will look into the perspectives and practices of EM in the classroom. This research will also look into how principal and instructors used EM in the classroom, as well as what the teachers think about those EM practices. It is also vital to understand how well the principal approaches school administration in terms of EM in order to interpret their perspectives and thinking. Because principals and institutions are governed by the government, existing education regulations will be extensively evaluated to investigate the rationale for choosing such an approach. These logics will be followed in this investigation, and the results will be interpreted accordingly.
This is a case study that took place in Henan, China. The research study’s main objective is to answer the following question: In Henan, China, how do primary school teachers and principals regard educational management? China’s schools are frequently praised in the Western for their PISA results, strong discipline, and work ethic. Chinese students, on the other hand, have 12-hour days of school, 40 student classes, and extensive hours of after-school teaching. The Chinese educational system has been chastised for its reliance on “rote style” learning, a singular focus on exam preparedness, unquestioning and passive student involvement, and a limited curriculum. Although many agree that China’s system creates the “greatest test-takers in the world,” they also believe that it fosters a “spirit of obedience” and “suppresses individualism,” resulting in impoverished social and educational outcomes. Others argue that China’s high-stakes testing environment has resulted in corruption, the loss of creative potential, and an awful student suicide rate.
1.6 Definition of terms
Educational Management – Educational management is the study of how educational institutions operate on a day-to-day basis (Hallinger 2018). It’s also a way of organizing, planning, and coordinating activities in a school in order to fulfill the school’s objectives by maximizing the use of people and material resources.
School Management – School administration is the act of leading a school toward success by optimizing use of physical and human resources, ideas, and theories that aid in the attainment of all of the school’s objectives, as well as the proper coordination and modifications of all of them (Hallinger 2018).
Principal – All of school’s personnel, including teachers, are overseen by a principal, maintenance personnel, administration staffers, and anyone else (Petko et al. 2018). Given the responsibilities that principals face, there may be a few skills and traits that are essential to be a effective school principal
Teacher – A teacher is a person who helps students develop knowledge, competency, or virtue. Informally, anyone can take the role of instructor. For example, while instructing someone on how to complete a task. In certain countries, rather than being educated in a formal setting that is a school, small children of school age could be taught in a more informal setting like inside the family, or through homeschooling (Donglong et al. 2020). Other careers may necessitate a significant amount of teaching. In most countries, hired experienced teachers are in responsibility of pupils’ formal education. Persons whose major work purpose is to teach others in a formal education context, including a school or other institution of first-level formal training or education, are the focus of this research.
1.7 The organization of the study
This research will begin with a survey of the literature on educational management in Henan, China. Educational management theories, present primary school principal practices, and the current situation of educational school management will all be examined in this literature study. The methodology section of this study will go into the research and data collection instruments used. The study’s central question will be answered in the analytical section that follows. Finally, the research and significance of this research will be summarized in a conclusion.
The purpose of this section is to provide background information on Chinese educational management. This part will first go over educational management. Following that, it will discuss more on the collegial education management model. It is critical to comprehend how EM functions in traditional situations in order to completely comprehend how EM has evolved in China. The following part will link existing education reforms to EM and demonstrate how government policies have influenced EM development in China. Lastly, this chapter will look at the current state of Education Management in Chinese education and demonstrate how EM ideas are frequently altered to match the local situation. The research questions at the end of this chapter will tackle the existing studies gaps as well as the study’s objective.
2.1 What is Educational Management (EM)?
EM was established in the America States in the mid-nineteenth century and has quickly expanded over the world in recent decades. EM, which combines earlier ideas and concepts from administration, bureaucracies, and management, has been formally acknowledged by academics but has eluded a single concrete description due to its complexity. EM was originally acknowledged as educational management in the US States during its early phases of growth. European states and the rest of the globe embraced the term “management” (Dicke et al. 2020). While most researchers agreed that educational management had similar meanings and contexts (Karlberg & Bezzina 2020), many went into detail about the differences. Bal-Taştan et al. (2018) define EM as “regular maintenance of current operations” and educational administration as “lower order duties.” According to Shaturaev (2021), the clearest description of EM is given by him (Smetackova et al. 2019). EM, according to (Zhou et al. 2019), is all about preserving education program: ‘Managing involves keeping current organizational arrangements efficiently and effectively.’ While good management often demonstrates management qualities, the overall goal is to maintain rather than change.’ (Bear et al. 2018), (Donglong et al. 2020) elaborated on the necessity of maintenance, based on (Hallinger 2018)’s definition, because EM handles the implementations or technical concerns.
(Petko et al. 2018) suggested that EM is “an executive mechanism for implementing out agreed policies,” in contrary to these authors. (Hardwick-Franco 2019) and (Postholm 2018) differed in their definitions of EM since (Nasra & Arar 2019) considered that EM included included internal policy formulations and organizational reform. Purwanto et al. (2021) went on to say that properly employing organizational resources will improve the efficiency of the organization and result in better outcomes. However, (Kwan 2020) stated that this focus on organizational efficiency is inextricably linked to managerialism, which is at odds with EM’s initial goal. While effectiveness is vital in school administration, he argues in his book Theories of EM (Ismail et al. 2018) that Educational Management should focus on instructional goals rather than solely organizational efficiency. Other authors have expressed a similar viewpoint and expanded on this argument, claiming that the rise of a perverse form of neoliberalism in the twenty-first century, in which questionable performance measures and profit margins adjudicate the relative importance of an education system (Binti et al. 2020) contends, based impact not only from bureaucratic system and management, but also from other perspectives including economics and social psychology. This has made it much more difficult to define EM in today’s society, as the term has become increasingly complex.
With the emergence of new political and social ideologies, Karacabey et al. (2022) broadened his views on Educational Management’s ideal focus—educational intents and goals. EM should pursue proper goals for education sector instead of blindly pursuing diverse education aims, he thinks, whether education goals are established through internal meetings or enforced from outside players. EM is “involved with the effective running of school systems” at its core (Meyer et al. 2022). Modern EM also relies on educational goals and targets that provide the institution with paths and disciplines (Huang et al. 2020). Generally, EM has evolved into a complex perspective that is in conversation with a variety of other viewpoints, such as EL, and it is continually evolving and interacting with more facets of modern life.
2.1.2 How is Educational Management Practiced?
In the article The Managerial Imperative and the Practice of School management, Zheng et al. (2019) provided a precise definition of educational management. (Chen & Guo 2020) argues that educational management is a way of ‘impacting others’ behaviors in order to achieve desired outcomes. Leaders are those who influence others’ goals, motivations, and actions. They frequently make changes to achieve existing and new objectives. (Hallinger et al. 2019) extended to the definition of EM by adding extra layers. According to this theory, effective EM requires visions, resources, and motivation, as well as standardizing methods and monitoring operations. EL is a series of functions or responsibilities performed by school leaders instead of “something completed by someone from a formal authority” under this definition.
Scholars have concluded that work on EM theory development has halted since the late 1970s (Shengnan & Hallinger 2021). There has been minimal cumulative buildup of knowledge in this area [of educational management], according to (Liu & Hallinger 2018), the authors of Educational Administration article. The lack of conceptual development of EM is also a source of concern for Edwin Bridges. ‘There is no strong evidence to imply that those slaving in the intellectual fields since 1967 have resolved a major theoretical question or practical difficulty relating to school administrators,’ he asserts. Moreover, (Liu et al. 2020), who studied educational management in schools and classrooms, claims that there aren’t enough studies in EM theory on classroom school structure. (Unger & Meiran 2020) also recommends looking into the school itself than Educational Management theories; this proposal was the catalyst for the inclusion of EM in the national educational agenda.
As a result, in the 1980s, EM theory and practice exploded in popularity. A recent study on management and school effectiveness (Ariffin et al. 2018) also pointed to the importance of EM development in education. Edmonds discovered that excellent schools had six major qualities: effective administrative management, high expectations for all students, an amazing school environment, and a focus on student teaching, additional resource support, and student progress tracking. More research into EM was begun after it was acknowledged as a vital tool for school effectiveness in the 1980s.
In addition, Malik (2018) emphasized the relevance of values and purposes in EM. Bush (2018) argued that sustaining educational principles and intents for EM practices among school principals could likely boost the possibility for school effectiveness in his paper on the establishment of National Professionals Qualifications for Headship (NPQH) in the UK. In Twelve schools, (Baharuldin et al. 2019) questioned over 200 principals, employees, and stakeholders regarding EM. They came to the conclusion that management is all about the growth of people who are active in the education system, including not just school workers but also stakeholders, families, and outside school participants.
A strong leader running an excellent school must be “visionary, enthusiastic, creative, flexible, [and] inspiring,” in addition to the importance of values, purpose, and “people development.” However, (Greenhow et al. 2019) disagrees, claiming that new EM definitions and characteristics are arbitrary; despite this, he defined EM as “a social influence process in which one person exerts intentional influence over other individuals to structure the interactions and processes in a team or organization.” He said that contextual variances in contexts increased the variety of EM in real practice, which indicates that due to structural and social variables, not all EM features and qualities will be performed.
Alzeebaree & Zebari (2021) summarized and redefined Educational Management to reflect this. Impact, values, and visions are three of EM’s key attributes, according to him (Fan et al. 2019). In his work, EM distinguishes between power and influence, noting that power can be purposefully exerted by people or groups, whereas authority frequently follows a top-down approach. ‘Leaders are required to anchor their activities in clear professional values,’ according to (Alegado 2018). Values are also key instruments for implementing EM in education. (Alegado 2018) also stressed the significance of visions, which is “considered a crucial component of good management.” FL is autonomous of positional power and emphasizes more on ability to empower individuals who can affect organizational success through their abilities and talents, according to (Baharuldin et al. 2019). They claimed that EM practices and establishment in schools has given subordinate teachers additional roles and responsibilities, reducing the influence of principals in the process. This and the previous subsections have covered various features of EM. These reviews revealed a significant distinction: EM is more concerned with values, whereas EM is more concerned with operations. Despite these distinctions, many experts argue that in today’s society, EM is extremely crucial for school management.
2.1.3. Educational Management in the school setup
Dicke et al. (2010) claimed in Reframing Institutions: Artistic, Choices, and Management, that school management practices should incorporate EM ideas. They stated that modern businesses, particularly schools, require the manager’s “objective perspective… [as well as] the vision and dedication that good management brings” (Karlberg & Bezzina 2020). Schools were not only good places to test alternative hypotheses, but this technique also opened up the prospect of EM.
Bal-Taştan et al. (2018) acknowledged that EM is important management strategies in modern schools. While a strong vision is vital for determining the type and direction of changes, it is also critical to guarantee that innovation are implemented quickly and that the school’s residual activities are carried out properly while certain parts are changing, according to (Shaturaev 2021). In other terms, EM could be used to launch school-wide change or strategic planning, and then EM can guarantee that the change is effectively implemented.
In line with his viewpoint, Smetackova et al. 2019 proposed that EM is inextricably linked because it emphasize on the goal, purpose, and aim of school. He pointed out that the roles of EM and occasionally overlap. (Bear et al. 2018) agrees that EM is practically and theoretically intertwined, and that good schools need both well-functioning management and good management methods to fulfill broad objectives. However, while these concepts are related does not make them equivalent (Donglong et al. 2020). (Petko et al. 2018) discovered that effective educational institutions need EM for promising effective learning outcomes based on their interviews with school management in education sector. However, due to a lack of conceptual knowledge and practical procedures in actual educational settings, the positions of leader and manager can occasionally overlap (Nasra & Arar 2019).
2.2 Educational Management Theories
Education is the primary agent of social transformation in both emerging and established nations. Consequently, the management of educational institutions is recognized as one of the most essential management perspectives. Fundamentally, educational management is a discipline pertaining to the management of educational organizations. However, because this field of study has built on the foundations of other firmly established studies, there is no single statement that defines this field of study (Shengnan & Hallinger 2021). Although the process of creating organizational goals is key to educational management, the connection between education’s goals and objectives and educational management’s actions could be deemed crucial. The other important issue is the interdependent relationship between educational management and educational leadership, as well as their effective combination to achieve success in school. The education management model that this thesis will focus on is the collegial model.
2.2.1 Collegial Model of Educational Management
Principal assumptions of collegial models include policy determination and conceptualization, decision-making relying on a procedure of consultations, agreements, and common understanding, and power sharing among some or all people in the organization who are believed to share a common understanding of the organization’s objectives (Postholm 2018). Three management styles are associated with collegial models: transformative leadership, participative management, and instructional leadership (Liu & Hallinger 2018). The central tenets of organizational management are a focus on the commitments and competencies of organizational members, and the fact that a greater level of personal commitment to organizational objectives and greater goal-attainment capabilities would increase the organization’s productivity (Zheng et al. 2019). In addition, (Huang et al., 2020) have conceptualized transformational leadership management in the school system based on eight measurements: building vision of the school, setting school goals, intellectual stimulation provision, providing individualized patronage, practice guidelines and key organizational values model construction, high performance anticipations screen, productive culture formation within schools, and encouraging participation in the school’s decision-making process by devoutly involving students.
Participative leadership, also known as shared, collaborative, or collegial leadership, is the second approach relevant to collegial management models of educational administration. It has been characterized as the opportunity for organizational members to participate in the decision-making process in an organization (Meyer et al. 2022), and this participation is a crucial step that must be made (Karacabey et al. 2022). As a normative theory, participative management is predicated on three criteria: an increase in school efficiency due to the application of a participatory approach, the justification of participation by democratic principles, and the availability of management to all lawful stakeholders within the framework of site-based management (Binti et al, 2020). The third leadership style associated with collegial models is distributed leadership, which is the focus of research in the twenty-first century (Ismail et al. 2018). According to Kwan (2020), this leadership style is among the most influential methods in the area of educational leadership over the past ten years. This type of leadership is independent of positional authority and based on the skills and competencies of organization’s structure members. Thus, according to Purwanto et al. (2021), distributed leadership is based on locating and utilizing organizational expertise irrespective of the organizational ranks of competent members. In short, and in the field of educational systems, distributed leadership is an approach to leadership in which collaborative work is conducted between persons who respect and trust each other’s contributions. It is most efficacious when members of the organization engage in intervention, embracing leadership in their respective areas of expertise, and requires resources to sustain and allow collaborative environments.
2.2.2. Instructional Leadership management
In the 1980s, the term “instructional leadership” (IL) first appeared in the academic sphere. (Huang et al. 2020) define IL as a strategy based on combining followers’ needs in everyday chores and coordinating these tasks with learning goals in their book Supervision of Instruction: A Development Approach. ‘Directing assistance to instructors, team building, employee training, curriculum reform, and active experimentation’ are examples of such duties (Meyer et al. 2022). (Karacabey et al. 2022) agreed with (Binti et al. 2020) and later suggested that these responsibilities should include encompass strategic vision planning, and also addressing worker motivations.
IL theory, like all other kinds of ELs, evolved as a result of study, and new viewpoints were incorporated into the area. (Ismail et al. 2018) distinguished between traditional school head and the new educational school principal or head, the latter being more interested in learning and mainly centred on the school instructional program. To put it another way, the instructional leader, whom are usually the school principals, should be responsible for not only administrative responsibilities but also classroom teachings and instructional methods. (2020, Kwan). According to (Purwanto et al. 2021), IL should improve the school culture and define the learning culture, both of which are key tasks for modern Principalship. (Postholm 2018) went on to say that a strong instructional leader must also try to enhance the potential of their followers, which in this case are mostly teachers. Furthermore, (Nasra & Arar 2019) claimed that instructional leaders must pay special attention to school curriculums, particularly when it comes to implementation. According to (Petko et al. 2018), when an instructional leader assigns tasks to followers, the leader must pay close attention to the activities’ outcomes and assess them.
Although IL has excellent efficiency and good outcomes (Donglong et al. 2020), academicians frequently exaggerate its flaws. One of IL’s most serious flaws is its disregard for the processes of goals and task formation (Hallinger 2018). The IL model obviates the requirement of setting objectives by requiring followers to adhere to their leaders (Bear et al. 2018). Tasks and g oals may not be attainable in many circumstances, and hence unable to provide positive outcome for instructional leaders (Zhou et al. 2019). In addition, (Smetackova et al. 2019) claimed that in IL theories, there is a heavy emphasis on instruction and teaching instead of learning. Bush maintained that both learning and teaching are equally crucial in achieving better school results (Shaturaev 2021).
2.3.2 The Professional Standards for Principals in Compulsory Education Schools
The MOE launched the PSPCE 2013 in 2013 with the goal of providing professional standards and developing professional competencies for principals in order to implement NCR rules. The PSPCE was created to offer principals with systematic support while they implemented new school management ideas. The PSPCE focuses on two policy goals: personal achievement and professional achievement. Personal accomplishment in this context refers to knowledge of administration, knowledge of teaching and learning, and personality traits. Professional accomplishment relates to skills in school planning, moral teaching and learning development for learners, training of teachers, organizational effectiveness, and public relations expertise. In summary, the PSPCE established standards that demanded more from school leaders in terms of abilities, values, and expertise.
Bal-Taştan et al. (2018) analyzed the PSPCE using a policy-borrowing approach. (Karlberg & Bezzina 2020) suggested that the PSPCE matches the contextual conditions in China and that the state did not simply borrow such policies from Western society as it had done previously by analyzing related research and policy papers. (Dicke et al. 2020) also suggested that the PSPCE could revolutionize education management and would solve three fundamental challenges in the educational system. The first of these issues is the centralised education system; many schools discovered that government officials and party affiliates did not develop effective chemistry between school administrators as a result of the centralized model (Baharuldin et al. 2019). The second issue is that the training provided to teachers and principals was insufficient to fulfill the NCR level (Olsen & Huang, 2019). The third issue was a reported lack of attention on practice both in curriculum and instruction, which failed to meet social and economic development needs.
Following the research of (Alegado 2018), (Fan et al. 2019) did a similar analysis to compare the PSPCE to the United States’ Interstate Educational Leaders Licensure Standards. (Fan et al. 2019) compared the two policies using content analysis and found that PSPCE was developed with China’s conceptualization in mind, particularly with an understanding of Chinese culture. Three policy proposals were identified as a result of differences in political interests and agendas (Alzeebaree & Zebari 2021). The first distinction would be that the PSPCE is more evaluative than the ISLLC, because the PSPCE leaves comprehensive instructions and directions to local authorities to better meet the local situations (Greenhow et al. 2019). The second distinction is that the PSPCE favored instructional leadership, but the ISLLC supported all types of ELs (Malik, 2018). The third distinction is that the PSPCE maintained norms for IL establishment in schools, whereas the ISLLC empowered principals to use various types of ELs (Ariffin et al. 2018).
The PSPCE’s shortcomings are discussed in (Liu et al. 2020) publications. In the PSPCE policies, the main training program was barely mentioned (Unger & Meiran 2020). Both papers addressed concerns about educational programs, citing historical experiences that show there is frequently a lack of adequate training programs for instructors. Furthermore, both articles established an agreement on the system of principals’ accountability. The principal’s responsibility system in the PSPCE was less defined, and the policy was ambiguous on how the monitoring program should operate (Liu et al. 2020). Generally, (Liu et al. 2020) believed that the PSPCE will help school principals strengthen their management skills.
2.4 Conceptual framework
Figure 1: Conceptual framework (adapted from (Unger & Meiran 2020)
This chapter will describe the study’s research methodology designs. It will begin by presenting the study’s research design that will demonstrate how the study tackles the research questions. Following that, sampling techniques will be discussed. Then there will be a discussion about data collecting. The results of the data analysis will be provided, as well as the equipment that were utilized to examine the data. Lastly, this study’s ethical implications will be discussed.
3.1 Research Design
A research design is a blueprint for identifying respondents, location of the research, and data collection methods in order to explore a study’s research topic(s) (Donglong et al. 2020). Descriptive research design was included in this inquiry. Additionally (Hallinger 2018) explains that a descriptive research is a quantitative research a procedure that aims to obtain quantifiable information for statistical analysis of the population sample. It is a common research instrument that allows us to collect and explain the characteristics of a demographic segment. The purpose of this study is to look into the research questions and lay the groundwork for future research. This research will look into the principal and instructors in a primary school in Henan, China. Primary school Y has been the most successful school with in district in terms of exam results and school management. Schools in the same district frequently observe school Y and learn from its teachers and principal regarding effective teaching and educational ideas. Undertaking this study in primary school Y will allow researchers to not only investigate EM practices in China’s context, but also predict how EM might be implemented in other schools.
According to (Petko et al. 2018), descriptive research entails gathering data in order to test hypothesis or solve problems pertaining to the current state of a research topic. The descriptive research study produces quantitative data that could be interpreted using scientific calculations. According to (Zhou et al. 2019), in descriptive In this design, the researcher collected data through survey methods such as self-administered questionnaires distributed to teachers in order to determine their viewpoints on the school-wide reform initiatives implemented by school administration to improve student performance.
The study fitted within the descriptive survey design. Within this design, the researcher gathered data through survey methods such as self-administered questionnaires provided to teachers in order to ascertain their perspectives on the school-wide change initiatives employed by administrators to improve student performance (Hallinger 2018). Because of the flexibility given by the case study technique, this study determined that the questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were the most acceptable methods for data collection. When each participant is subjected to same questions and same coding system, the questionnaire is said to be standardized (Bear et al. 2018). It can assist in gathering information on various figures in same scope and parameters (Zhou et al. 2019). In this study, a questionnaire is used to obtain each teacher’s overall ideas on EM as well as their comments on the principal’s EM practice. Most importantly, the questionnaire will give researchers with basic information concerning teachers and aid them in identifying possible semi-structured interview participants. Teachers who choose to participate in the survey will be offered the chance to provide their contact information at the end. More stories concerning EM practices and attitudes at the school will be revealed in the semi-structured interview that follows. Not just the teachers, but also the principal, will be interviewed.
Using this type of study has a number of advantages. ‘…has the benefit of being fairly objective while also allowing a more full comprehension of the respondent’s thoughts…’ says the semistructured interview approach (Smetackova et al. 2019). However, using open-ended questions and interviewers’ training to investigate pertinent themes that may stray from the interview guide allows for the discovery of new perspectives and understandings on the matter at hand. Interviewees will be provided the ethical information sheets and the ethical consent letter several days before the actual interviews. The survey questionnaires and purpose will be outlined on the ethical information page. Information about their ethical rights will be displayed on the ethical consent form.
The goal of this study is to find out what the principal and teachers think about EM in primary schools. This study’s logic design is to deliver questionnaires to teachers initially. The questionnaire would be used to show the existing school administration style via the perspective of the teachers. Then, utilizing several interview question sets, I will undertake semi-structured interview with volunteering school principal and the teachers. The goal of the question and answer session is to learn more about the principal’s and teachers’ perspectives on EM. After gathering data, I’ll examine the questionnaire data individually, comparing and contrasting not only the findings of the survey and interview from teachers, but also the results of the principle and teachers. As a result, the research questions would then be addressed, and the current state of EM practices will be established.
The questionnaire data was collected using a combination of convenience sampling technique and snowballing techniques in this study. Convenience sampling is a strategy of locating and selecting study participants who are the most convenient to reach and who the researcher already recognizes as politically typical or significant. In other words, convenience sampling is based on a population subset that is easy to reach. The identifying and classifying initial participants of the study was helped by convenience sampling. Then, to acquire further information, snowball sampling was used.
Snowball sampling, according to Bal-Taştan et al. (2018), is “a valuable tool in exploratory, descriptive, and quantitative research, particularly in those research where participants are limited in numbers or a high levels of trust is necessary to establish the contact.” Snowball sampling is a selection procedure that is commonly carried out using networks. When the researcher doesn’t know enough about the group or organization he wants to research, it’s fortunate because a few interactions will bring him to another group (Karlberg & Bezzina 2020). Snowball sampling was employed to disseminate questionnaires among the teachers in this study.
Both sorts of sampling approaches, however, have limits. Non-random sampling, unlike random sampling, frequently results in prejudices (Dicke et al. 2020). ‘…the method the participants are obtained can readily impact the outcome by incorporating unanticipated or uncontrolled factors for both snowball and convenience sampling.’ Both strategies will produce individuals who are mostly from same geographic region. They may also share similar socioeconomic backgrounds or ethnicities (Baharuldin et al. 2019). The biases induced by both methodologies may have an impact on the study’s validity and reliability.
However, in this research, such constraints were minimized, particularly in school settings. Because this is a case study, all teachers must be in the same geographical place. However, just because these teachers work in the same place does not indicate they have same socioeconomic class; while they earn similar salaries, the majority of them are married, and their household income and inheritances are unknown. With this, no one contacted by convenience sampling has a high or senior position at a school, reducing prejudices from power and influence plays in data sampling.
Because I personally know numerous teachers at the targeted school, convenience sampling was also used. I instructed them to disseminate the survey to their friends within the school after I gave them the questionnaire, which is a sort of snowball sampling. I did not send financial rewards for questionnaire distribution to avoid bias, and I did not include the first participants in the later interview session to avoid prejudices. After initial samples, the survey was circulated and filled out voluntarily in order to eliminate any biases that may have been introduced inadvertently This study was meant to have 50 people participate in the survey and 5 people participate in the interview. For the principal evaluation, I asked one of the professors to introduce me to the school’s principal. During my initial meeting with the principal, I requested an interview. My request was graciously granted by the principal, who requested a copy of my completed dissertation as a reward.
3.3 Ethical Consideration
Academic researchers should follow the British Academic Research Association’s ethical rules, which include that they should treat all people involved in their research with respect. People should be treated equitably, compassionately, with decency, and in a respectful and libertarian manner. This study adheres to all ethical criteria. Both the survey and the survey questionnaires were thoughtfully written. Respondents were free to withdraw or withdraw from activities at any time, as mentioned on the ethical information sheets and consent letter. Such reactions were not taken into account, and the data was discarded. Interviewees have the freedom to decline to respond to any questions if it isn’t asked in the right way. This study’s subjects were all anonymous, and no identities were revealed in any context. Rather, the interviewee teachers were given the initials A, B, C, and D. The survey did not ask for identities or contact details unless the participant freely provided them. This study’s data will be used exclusively for this study. Upon demand, a replica of this dissertation would be supplied to the participants. All collecting data activities under this study adhere to Chinese government regulations.
3.4 Data Collection
The questionnaire was created using Qualtrics, an online network. I was able to create questions, record outcomes, and conduct preliminary data analysis for future use using this web platform. A Chinese program, Wechat, was used to distribute the questionnaire, which was written in Qualtrics and delivered to the initial representative sample of teachers. In China, this software is commonly used for communication on laptops and phones. Teachers would fill out the survey on their computers or phones, and they could also share it to other teachers. They should be aware that they should only fill out the survey once, after which the link will expire and they will only be able to redistribute the survey. The findings were significant: More than 100 instructors responded to the survey, and four teachers expressed an interest in being interviewed. These outcomes were not dissimilar to what had been predicted.
Teachers were required to sign an ethical information document and a consent was obtained before they could proceed with the questionnaire. The questionnaire was broken into seven categories in providing an insight into the targeted school’s style of management. Long-term objectives, communication, responsibilities, teacher assessment, school participation, self-evaluation, and EM assessment in school were the seven aspects. Teachers are asked to rate existing school regulations or their views on school management on a scale for each component. For instance, the questions that inquires about the school’s long-term aims, and questions that inquires about the instructors’ assessment of the long term goals.
This design’s logic is to display teachers’ viewpoints on current school administration as well as the school principal’s EM practices. Because EM concentrates on values, goals, and personal impacts, asking questions on visions, communications, and values will aid in examining EM practices from the perspective of instructors. Questions on school standards, including teacher assessment and reward programs, reveal the contemporary management policy initiatives at the school. Teachers can express their opinions on working in the school by answering self-evaluation questions, and it’s also a vital measure of school management. There was a question at the end of the survey asking if the person was willing to engage in the survey, which helped to identify willing interview participants. Following receipt of the survey findings, communication was made with all those who agreed to participate in the voluntary interview. Interviewees were approached individually for ethical reasons, and interviews were held outside of school also on weekend. The interviewees signed the ethical fact sheets and the ethical consent letter prior to the interview session.
The interview questions are usually considered and divided into three topics, while individual questions varies based on the participants’ responses. The initial batch of inquiries focused on the existing school administration. ‘What do you feel about modern school culture, and what do you think about the modern school administration style?’ for instance. The second question focused on how instructors felt about the principal. Teachers were addressed questions like ‘what do you regard the principal’s contributions in school administration, and how would you rank your principal?’ to get their opinions on the principal.
The third theme focused on English as a Second Language (ESL) in schools. Teachers were polled regarding their attitudes about EM in the classroom, as well as how they rated their principal’s management practices. The goal of asking such questions was to get teachers’ perspectives on their professions first, then the principal’s, before moving on to evaluating EM in schools. This step-by-step approach was created to alleviate any interview anxiety and keep instructors talking. The duration of the interviews ranged from 15 and 25 minutes.
In addition, the principal was interviewed in his office. The survey questionnaire were similar to those used by teachers, and they were geared for a different audience. The conversation revolved around three main themes: school administration, school instructors, and management practices. One of the main subjects is, “What is your education ideology, and how do you implement it into school?” Teachers were the second group. Instead of asking about teachers’ performance, I enquired about the school’s communication approach and teaching resources. The third aspect focused on management model as it was used by the principal. To gain his viewpoint, questions were asked about self-evaluation regarding EM practice and school administration challenges. The purpose of these three aspects is to cross reference the perspectives of the teachers and principal in order to find the causes for similarities and discrepancies that may also reveal how EM activities are articulated and practiced in reality. The interview went on for over 45 minutes.
3.5 Data Analysis
The data will be analyzed using three different methods: descriptive analysis, regression analytics, and theme analysis. For survey questionnaires, descriptive statistical analysis and regression analytics will be employed, while for interview data, theme analysis will be used. Descriptive statistics will provide replies from instructors in the form of figures, percentages, and graphs, such as the proportion of teachers who feel the school’s long-term goal is legitimate and effective. The frequency analysis of instructors’ replies in different questions will also be summarized using cross-tabulation. There are three advantages to employing descriptive statistical analysis in data analysis, according to (Olsen & Huang, 2019). Descriptive statistics deal directly with observing behaviors and displaying distinct perceptions and characteristics of those activities (Alegado 2018). Descriptive analysis can be combined with other analytical approaches to intuitively examine behaviors (Fan et al. 2019). Most notably, descriptive statistical analysis can be employed as “an assessment technique” in most situations, demonstrating their versatility in most situations (Greenhow et al. 2019). This study will use regression analysis to assess connections between variables like teacher work happiness and the principal’s EM practice score, based on basic descriptive statistics. Most significantly, the regression analyses will show how the dependent variable varies as the independent variables vary. The findings of descriptive analysis and regression analyses will be generated using SPSS software in this study.
Following the descriptive statistical and regression analysis, the data from the interview with both instructors and the principal will be investigated using a thematic analysis approach. The process of discovering themes or patterns in quantitative data is known as thematic analysis (Malik, 2018). It is an approach that is not restricted to a single theoretical viewpoint, demonstrating the simplicity and flexibility of theme analysis (Ariffin et al. 2018). Despite the flexibility and simplicity of the thematic method, this research will utilize the analysis in six steps (Unger & Meiran 2020). Knowing your data, categorize and produce codes, look for themes, examine and define themes, as well as write up the findings are the six phases (Liu et al. 2020). This study will explore related themes dependent on participants’ responses and delve into the significance of the data by following these stages.