Journal Publications

Title and Abstract
Qian, H. Y.,
& Walker, A.

The education of migrant children in Shanghai: The battle for equity, International Journal of Educational Development, 44, 74-81.

Abstract: The PISA success of Shanghai has aroused open challenge and debate about whether the city is a “model of equity”. There have been heated debates about the education of migrant children in Shanghai. This paper analyses publicly accessible policy papers and literature to provide a contextualised interpretation of the major progress and ongoing challenges surrounding the education of migrant children in Shanghai. The paper shows the structural inequalities affecting migrant families and their children. It refers to central as well as local government policies and the constraints these policies face. The analysis shows that Shanghai remains riddled with ongoing challenges that may have been obscured by the PISA success.

Keywords: Educational equity; China; Shanghai PISA; Migrant children

Liu, P.

Motivating teachers’ commitment to change through transformational school leadership in Chinese urban upper secondary schools, Journal of Educational Administration, 53(6), 735 - 754.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of transformational school leadership on teachers’ commitment to change and the effects of organizational and teachers’ factors on teachers’ perception of transformational school leadership in the Chinese urban upper secondary school context.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper mainly uses quantitative methods to explore the relationships between different constructs. The author asks: to what extent can transformational school leadership practices in the urban upper secondary schools of a particular Chinese city explain the variation in teachers’ commitment to change during curriculum reform? What are the effects of organizational and teachers’ factors on teachers’ perceptions of transformational school leadership?
Findings – The results of multiple regression analysis showed that the effect of transformational school leadership was moderate when transformational school leadership and teachers’ commitment to change were treated as single variables. Four dimensions of transformational leadership practice together explained the moderate effects on four dimensions of teachers’ commitment to change, among which the effect of managing the instructional program was the most prominent. The results of multiple regression analysis also revealed that variables like culture, strategy, environment, and teachers’ age had significant relationships with teachers’ perceptions of transformational school leadership. Culture, environment, strategy, structure, and teachers’ factors such as age and grade taught had moderate effects on different dimensions of teachers’ perceptions of transformational school leadership.
Originality/value – This study is one of the first to explore the effects of transformational school leadership on teachers’ commitment to change in the Chinese urban upper secondary school context. The findings contribute to educational management in China and similar contexts, and this study advances knowledge and furthers the understandings of the transferability of theories to different contexts.

Keywords: China, Teachers’ commitment to change, Transformational school leadership, Urban upper secondary school

Lim, C. P., Yan, H. B.,
& Xiong, X. B.

Development of pre-service teachers’ Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education competencies in a mainland Chinese university. Educational Media International, 52(1), 15-32. DOI: 10.1080/09523987.2015.1005425.

Abstract: This paper examines how the design and implementation of a core teacher education course develops pre-service teachers’ information communication technology (ICT) in education competencies in a mainland Chinese university. This course adopted a four-component instructional design system to develop its curriculum, incorporated an inquiry-based learning approach to develop pre-service teachers’ pedagogical competencies, and used an online learning platform to facilitate the sharing of experiences of using ICT for teaching and learning. This case study demonstrates that innovative pedagogies together with more relevant course content supported by an online learning platform may enhance the effectiveness of a core ICT in education course.

Keywords: teacher education; ICT in education; mainland China; pre-service teachers ’ competencies

Chen, J.

Exploring middle school students' and parents' conceptions of excellent teaching, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, DOI: 10.1080/02188791.2015.1005052.

Abstract: While there have been many western studies about what excellent teaching means, there are far fewer eastern studies. This study explored how students and parents perceived conceptions of excellent teaching in Chinese middle schools. The 77 students' and 67 parents' responses relating to a personal narrative of a time they had experienced excellent teaching were analysed using narrative inquiry. This study identified three major and four minor themes: (1) making classes interesting, (2) achieving student effectiveness, (3) caring for students, (4) having a high level of responsibility and morality, (5) having a breadth of knowledge, (6) being able to control the class, and (7) having a positive relationship with students. These conceptions were shared by the two groups and few significant differences existed between them. The differences from other Western and Chinese descriptions of excellent teaching were discussed. Implications for teaching standards, teacher professional development, and teacher evaluation system were provided.

Keywords: excellent teaching, qualitative study, middle school, student and parents, Chinese education

Szeto, E.

Community of inquiry as an instructional approach: What effects of teaching, social and cognitive presences are there in blended synchronous learning and teaching? Computers & Education, 81, 191-201.

Abstract: Little research has been conducted to integrate teaching, social and cognitive presences as three instructional components of an instructional approach to contextualizing blended synchronous learning and teaching experiences. This qualitative case study reports the use of a community of inquiry instructional approach to exploring the effects of the presences on shaping the experiences of online and face-to-face students and their instructor. The students and instructor interviews, video recordings and class observations over an entire engineering drawing course were collected for data analysis with the use of a coding scheme derived from the presences. The fi ndings revealed that attainment of the intended learning outcomes relied more on the teaching presence than on the social and cognitive presences of the approach. The instructor's performance could bring about a leadership role of teaching presence as being more important than the social and cognitive presences in the engineering course. However, the instructional effects of the teaching, social and cognitive presences contributing to the blended synchronous learning and teaching mode were situational and context specific. Implications for further research are discussed.

Keywords: Teaching presence; Social presence; Cognitive presence; e-teacher leadership; Blended synchronous mode

Walker, A.,
& Hallinger, P.

A synthesis of reviews of research on principal leadership in East Asia. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(4), 554 - 570. DOI:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings from five systematic reviews of research on principal leadership in East Asia contained in this special issue. The goal is to identify commonalities as well as differences concerning both approaches to research and the enactment of school leadership within this rapidly developing and increasingly influential region of the world.
Design/methodology/approach – The review uses thematic analysis of both structural elements and substantive findings drawn from the composite review papers.
Findings – The synthesis of the research reviews found considerable variability across the five societies in terms of the volume of work accessible to international audiences, topical foci, the conceptual and methodological sophistication, and findings. Three content patterns were discerned via the thematic analysis of the five reviews: first, influences on the principalship (incorporating personal, cultural and political sub themes); second, principal leadership practices (including qualities and styles, vision, indirect influence on student learning and shared decision making); and third, principal development (including preparation, training and professional development). Research limitations/implications – In a broader sense, this synthesis paper seeks to assess the development of the field of applied study in East Asia over the past two decades. As such, the paper highlights implications for further building the knowledge base both in the region and globally.
Originality/value – This synthesis, as well as the five reviews, represent the first effort to mark the boundaries of knowledge about school leadership in these East Asian societies. As such, they lay a foundation for the future development of the field in the region, and in so doing also make a contribution to a more diverse global literature in the field.

Keywords: Principals, Research, Leadership, Culture, Review

Chen, J.,
& Brown G. T. L.

Tensions between knowledge transmission and student-focused teaching approaches to assessment purposes: Helping students improve through transmission. Retrieved on 7 Aug, 2015, from

Abstract: This study surveyed 1064 Chinese school teachers’ approaches to teaching and conceptions of assessment, and examined their inter-relationship using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Three approaches to teaching (i.e. Knowledge Transmission, Student-Focused, and Examination Preparation) and six conceptions of assessment (i.e. Student Development, Teaching Improvement, Examination, Control, School Accountability, and Irrelevance) were identified. Teachers indicated they used Student-Focused most frequently and this positively predicted the assessment purposes of Student Development and Teaching Improvement, while loading negatively on Control, School Accountability, and Irrelevance. The Knowledge Transmission teaching approach, in contrast, positively predicted the assessment purposes of Examination, School Accountability, Control, Student Development, and Teaching Improvement. Thus, despite a predominantly student-focused approach to teaching, knowledge transmission was seen as a teaching approach that contributed positively to student learning. Possible explanations for this anomalous result are discussed.

Keywords: beliefs on assessment; teaching; Chinese teachers; structural equation modeling

Cheng, M. M. H.,
Tang, S. Y. F.,
& Cheng, A. Y. N.

Interpreting ambivalence regarding motivation for teaching among student–teachers. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 24, 147-156.

Abstract: Previous research suggests that student–teachers graduate from initial teacher education programmes with varying degrees of motivation to teach. In recent literature, there are student–teachers described to be ambivalent regarding motivation for teaching. More understanding about these cases will inform the design of initial teacher education programmes and the provision of measures to support beginning teachers. Moreover, in-depth research is required such that the meaning of ambivalence regarding motivation for teaching can be better defined. This article reports findings from a 4-year longitudinal study on student–teachers engaged in an initial teacher education programme. Cases showing ambivalence regarding motivation for teaching are identified. The article provides the meaning of ambivalence and analyses the programme experience of student–teachers who are ambivalent regarding teaching. The findings inform us as to whether ambivalence changes at the beginning, the end and/or during the teacher education programme, and the factors affecting the perceptions of ambivalence. The factors are concern about career prospects; lack of confidence in their ability to fulfil the role of a teacher; and influence from the social context. The analysis suggests that ambivalence regarding motivation to teach needs to be addressed beyond the initial teacher education programme level. Implications for ways to build up student–teachers’ confidence and enhance their motivation for teaching are discussed.

Ng, S. W., & Szeto, E.

Preparing school leaders: The professional development needs of newly appointed principals. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 44, 540-557

Abstract: In Hong Kong, there is an acute need to provide newly appointed principals with opportunities for continuous professional development so that they could face the impact of reforms and globalization on school development. The Education Bureau has commissioned the tertiary institutions to provide structured professional development courses to cater for the needs of aspiring, newly appointed and serving principals for leadership development. This paper aims to report on an exploratory qualitative study regarding the perception of 32 newly appointed principals from secondary schools on (a) their role as a new principal and (b) their needs and expectations on the school leadership development programme so that contents of existing development programmes could be improved to meet their needs. Findings demonstrated that the newly appointed principals expected to be equipped with the administrative skills of human resources management such as empowering middle leaders and handing underperforming staff; the practical technique of financial management; the skills of dealing with legal matters regarding school management and the capacities of curriculum and instructional leadership. In addition, they attributed networking with peers and working with mentors as invaluable experience and support for their early years’ principalship.

Keywords: Newly appointed principals, professional development, school leadership, Hong Kong

Szeto, E.,
Cheng, A. Y. N.,
& Hong, J. C.

Learning with social media: How do preservice teachers integrate YouTube and social media in teaching? The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. DOI 10.1007/s40299-015-0230-9.

Abstract: Little is known about digital-native preservice teachers’ pedagogies. They seem to be built on instructional strategies of integrating emergent affordances of the Internet technologies. This study aims to gain deeper understandings of the teachers’ pedagogies by exploring their preferred social media as instructional tools used in teaching practicums. A qualitative case study of a group of preservice teachers who integrated the technology in their teaching in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools was conducted. The results reveal the teachers’ pedagogies built on three instructional strategies with four preferences for the use of social media. Among the social media tools, YouTube was commonly used with other social media and non-social media tools, particularly for teaching in secondary schools. Consequently, three forms of pedagogy—the direct, constructivist and participatory, were identified in the digital-native preservice teachers’ instructional strategies of integrating potential social media affordances. The implications of the findings for preparing and developing the teachers’ knowledge of integrating emergent technologies to form their pedagogies are also discussed.

Szeto, E., Lee, T.,
& Hallinger, P.

A systematic review of research on educational leadership in Hong Kong, 1995-2014. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(4), 534-553. DOI:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a research synthesis of substantive findings drawn from studies of educational leadership and management in Hong Kong between 1995 and 2014. The goal of the research synthesis was to identify and elaborate on key trends identified by scholars who studied educational leadership in Hong Kong over the past two decades. The synthesis drew upon on relevant articles published in eight “core international journals” specializing in educational leadership and management.
Design/methodology/approach – The study first identifies a clearly delimited body of relevant literature comprised of empirical, non-empirical and review/synthesis types of studies in a total of 161 published research articles from the eight journals. Information concerning the nature of the studies as well as substantive findings was extracted from each of the articles. The findings were then initially coded in preparation for data analysis. Synthesis of substantive findings was accomplished by cross-article comparative mapping aimed at identifying key themes in the literature. Findings within four of the most robust themes were then synthesized and reported.
Findings – The synthesis highlights the challenges faced in Hong Kong’s efforts to reshape its education in a multi-faceted quest for quality education in the twenty-first century. A variety of inter-related issues emerged as policymakers and education administrators sought to implement a full plate of imported globally recognized education reforms. Analysis of the research from this period yielded four robust themes: “leadership development,” “leadership for learning,” “organizational change,” “multi-level performance focus.” The findings also further highlight the impact of “education policy borrowing” on system-level efforts to revamp the structural conditions in which school leaders operate and reshape managerial, as well as teaching and learning processes in schools. Research limitations/implications – Although the scope of the sources included in the review are highly representative of the “Hong Kong literature” of the past two decades, the authors note that it was not an “exhaustive” review of all potential sources.
Originality/value – Prior research by Hallinger and Bryant (2013b) had identified Hong Kong as having produced the largest volume of literature in educational leadership and management in Asia. This paper represents the first systematic review of research findings that emerged in the recent educational leadership literature produced in Hong Kong. Therefore, although the authors make no claims of generalizability to other parts of Asia or even to China as a whole, the paper offers insight into how global trends have reshaped the practice of educational leadership in one East Asian society.

Keywords: Leadership development, Leadership, Educational administration, Developing countries, Administration, Culture techniques

Walker, A.,
Lee, M.,
& Bryant, D. A.

Development and validation of the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile Questionnaire (IBLPQ). Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology.
DOI: 10.1080/01443410.2015.1045837

Abstract: The Learner Profile (LP) frames International Baccalaureate (IB) learning outcomes across the three programme levels and, as such, plays a key role in measuring the success of the rapidly growing number of IB schools in the AsiaPacific Region. Our aim was to develop an instrument to measure the IBLP and validate the instrument through a series of psychometric procedures. Results showed solid construct validity and measurement reliability, alongside content validity from our Delphi studies and cross-validation with different samples. Given the growing number of IB schools in the Asia-Pacific, we believe that the development of the IBLP questionnaire (IBLPQ) contributes to the international research community and educators interested in exploring the relationship between student outcomes and the LP. Importantly, given the current absence of systematically designed and tested survey instruments to measure the LP, we expect the IBLPQ will become a key initial resource for a wide range of stakeholders.

Keywords: International Baccalaureate (IB); Learner Profile (LP); survey questionnaire; instrument development; validation

Hallinger, P.
Walker, A.
& Trung, G. T.

Making sense of images of fact and fiction: A critical review of the knowledge base for school leadership in Vietnam. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(4), 445-466. DOI:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review both international and domestic (i.e. Vietnamese language) journal articles and graduate theses and dissertations on educational leadership in Vietnam. The review addresses two specific goals: first, to describe and critically assess the nature of the formal knowledge base on principal leadership in Vietnam, second, to synthesize findings from the existing literature on principal leadership in Vietnam.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper employed a method for conducting systematic reviews of research. The authors conducted a detailed, exhaustive search for international and “local” papers from Vietnam, yielding 120 research sources. Information from these papers was extracted and evaluated prior to analysis. Data analysis included both quantitative description of the “review database” as well as critical synthesis of substantive findings.
Findings – The review supports and extends an earlier review which found that the practice of educational leadership in Vietnam remains largely “invisible” to the international community of scholars. The review also yielded a highly critical assessment of research perspectives and methods used in the “local” Vietnamese studies which comprised the bulk of the authors’ database. Synthesis of substantive findings highlighted the manner by which organizational, political, and socio-cultural forces in the Vietnamese context shapes the practice of school leadership.
Research limitations/implications – First, qualitative studies are recommended that seek to describe, in-depth, the enactment of leadership in the Vietnamese context. Second, broad-scale surveys of characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs of school leaders across Vietnam are warranted. Third, the authors encourage graduate students and scholars studying school leadership in Vietnam to undertake a new generation of theory-informed studies that connect with the global literature. Practical implications – Due to the relatively weak nature of the existing knowledge base, the authors were unable to identify specific implications for leadership practice. However, practical implications are identified for developing the research capacity needed to improve research quality in Vietnam’s universities. Originality/value – This review is the first systematic review of educational leadership and management conducted of the Vietnamese literature. Moreover, the authors suggest that the review is original in its comprehensive coverage of both the local and international literature on educational leadership in Vietnam.

Keywords: Vietnam, Asia, Review, Leadership, Culture, Administrators, Principal

Walker, A., & Qian H. Y.

Review of research on school principal leadership in Mainland China, 1998-2013: Continuity and change. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(4), 467-491. DOI:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review English-language publications about school principalship in China published between 1998 and 2013 and to present an overview of the authorship, topics, methodologies and key findings of these publications.
Design/methodology/approach – The methodology includes an exhaustive review of journal articles and book chapters about Chinese school principalship published in the English language. In total, 39 articles and 17 book chapters are identified for the 1998-2013 period. Qualitative analysis is conducted to determine the basic patterns of authorship, topics, methods and key findings. The changes or continuities in these patterns during the study period are also discerned.
Findings – The paper identifies several continuous and discontinuous patterns in each of the review categories and provides a better understanding of on-going research into the practice of school principalship in China. The results also suggest areas that require deeper exploration.
Originality/value – This paper explores the landscape of school principalship in China as reflected in the international literature and indicates the ways that this landscape has changed or remained the same over the years. As such, the paper contributes to the thin knowledge base concerning school principalship in China and sheds light on the enduring local-global tension in the evolution of education systems.

Keywords: China, Literature review, School principals

Hallinger, P., & Ko, J.

Education accountability and principal leadership effects in Hong Kong primary schools. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 1, (30150).

Abstract:  This study explored the nature and effects of leadership for learning in the context of Hong Kong primary schools. Employing a mediated model of leadership for learning, the study examined how school leadership practices are perceived and shaped in the high accountability context of Hong Kong school education. Consistent with other recent empirical studies of school leadership effects, the research explored the relationship between school leadership, school-level capacity for improvement and student learning outcomes. Regression analyses found a negative impact of principal leadership practices related to strategic direction and policy environments, but a positive impact of staff management and resource management practices in terms of enhancing support for students. Contrary to expectations, schools’ capacity in supporting students had less impact on student academic outcomes than the negative impact of resources capacity and workload of teachers. Instead, mixed impact was found between principal leadership and student academic outcomes; it was negative regarding practices in strategic direction and policy environment, but positive in leader and teacher growth and development. The study refines our understanding of how the socio-cultural and organisational contexts of schools shape successful school leadership.

Keywords: leadership practices; accountability; teacher perceptions; support for students; student outcomes

Xiong, X. B.,
& Lim, C. P.

Rethinking the impacts of teacher education program on building the ICT in education competencies of pre-service teachers: A case of teacher education in Mainland China. The Journal of Applied Research in Education: Special Issue.

Abstract: This study explores the relationship between school-level teacher qualifications and school-based professional learning community (PLC) practices in Early Childhood Education in Hong Kong. A territory-wide survey examined how preschool teachers perceived shared responsibility, reflective dialogues, deprivatized practices and organizational learning. The findings suggest a significant relationship between school-level teacher qualifications and teachers' perceptions of school-based PLC practices. As the percentage of bachelor degree holders in preschools increases, teachers are more positive about PLC practices in their perceptions. This study establishes a platform for future studies focusing on structural relationships between teacher qualifications and school-based PLC practices.

Walker, A.,
& Hallinger, P.

Systematic reviews of research on principal leadership in East Asia. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(4).

Siu, O. L.,
Bakker, A. B.,
Brough, P.,
Lu, C. Q.,
Wang, H. J.,
O'Driscoll, M.,
Kalliath, T.,
Lu, J., & Timms, C.

A three-wave study of antecedents of work-family enrichment: The roles of social resources and affect. Stress & Health, 31(4), 306-314.

Abstract: On the basis of conservation of resources theory (Hobfoll, 1989) and the resource-gain-development perspective (Wayne, Grzywacz, Carlson, & Kacmar, 2007), this paper examines the differential impact of specific social resources (supervisory support and family support) on specific types of affect (job satisfaction and family satisfaction, respectively), which, in turn, influence work-to-family enrichment and family-to-work enrichment, respectively. A sample of 276 Chinese workers completed questionnaires in a three-wave survey. The model was tested with structural equation modelling. Job satisfaction at time 2 partially mediated the relationship between time 1 supervisory support and time 3 work-to-family enrichment (capital), and the effect of supervisory support on work-to-family enrichment (affect) was fully mediated by job satisfaction. Family satisfaction at time 2 fully mediated the relationship between time 1 family support and time 3 family-to-work enrichment (affect, efficiency). Implications for theory, practice and future research are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.