web stats
Selected Development Project
Project Title

A Study of Teams as Agencies of Distributing Curriculum Leadership Practices in Hong Kong Primary Schools

Principal Investigator Professor LAW Hau Fai Edmond
Area of Research Project
Educational Leadership, Policy and Administration
(School Based Curriculum Development)
Project Period
From 01/2015 To 05/2017
  • To investigate the distribution patterns of leadership practices in curricular and instructional decision-making processes that occur in Hong Kong primary schools and curriculum teams, and to examine how such patterns affect the team performance;
  • To empirically investigate the mediating effects of socio-cultural artifacts that facilitate and/or constrain leadership practices among teachers in curriculum teams; and
  • To provide an empirical foundation for the development of a theoretical model of distributed leadership practices in Hong Kong primary schools that will contribute to the international studies and to the development of curriculum leadership practices in schools.
Methods Used
A mixed method approach is adopted. The first stage of the project is to develop a reliable survey questionnaire which can be used to measure the extent that curriculum practices are distributed among teachers in the schools. The main purpose is to establish patterns of curriculum leadership practices among the schools which have agreed to participate in the project. The first stage is quantitative. In the second stage, a school in each typical pattern of distributed leadership will be selected and interviews and observations will be conducted to find out the specific cultural and organizational features of the decision making processes in these schools.
Summary of Findings
  1. The first stage was completed. Data analysis of the seven pilot schools have been finished. Three schools of different distributive patterns were selected for field work. Data collection methods included interviews of the middle managers and curriculum leaders, shadowing of the school head, and video-taping of a curriculum meeting.
  2. In the second stage (September 2015 – February 2016), the questionnaire was found to be useful and the items were reliable. An invitation letter was sent to all schools in Hong Kong and 51 schools confirmed their participation in the study. A total of 36 primary schools with 1207 teachers completed the questionnaire. Data analysis was completed in April 2017.
  1. Seven pilot schools participated and a total of 276 teachers completed the questionnaire in the first round while 155 teachers completed a revised version of the questionnaire in the second round.
  2. 71 schools promised to participate and 51 schools have returned completed questionnaires. All returned their signed consent forms. A total of 1207 teachers participated in the study.
Selected Output
  1. Three papers were presented in Australian Association of Research in Education in Melbourne in 27 November 2016.
  2. A book on Developing Distributed Curriculum Leadership is published by London Routledge in April 2917.
  3. Two papers have been submitted to international journals for review.
Biography of Principal Investigator

Professor Edmond Law is Professor in Curriculum & Instruction Department and a research fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change (APCLC) Education University of Hong Kong. He is a specialist in curriculum studies with special interests in school-based curriculum development and how a systematic team approach to organizing curriculum planning, curriculum design and evaluative reflection would enhance teacher leadership in curriculum design and organization at the school level. Many of his recent publications have focused on distributed perspectives on developing curriculum leadership practices in schools. His latest publication is an edited book on pedagogical innovations in Asia published by UNESCO.

Funding Source

General Research Fund