Purpose – Aims to study successful school principals in China and to provide details of some unique features of the Chinese educational system that both support and constrain principals and their management of schools. Design/methodology/approach – Examines the philosophy and practice of new principals of two schools, both in Shanghai, but at opposite ends of the quality spectrum. Eastern Senior High School, a municipal key school, is one of the best schools in Shanghai. Northern Junior High School was a failing school in the 1980s. Findings – The two principals studied were successful in creating the setting for drastic improvement in their schools. Eastern Senior High School was at its low tide when the new principal arrived. Through some innovative ideas in sports and music, he succeeded in revitalizing the school and moved it from the bottom five to one of the top ten of the 26 municipal key schools in Shanghai. Northern Junior High School was a failing school in the 1980s. There, the new principal came in 1994 and in subsequent years completely changed the school. Originality/value – Illustrates that the concept of successful school developed by one principal and his team was simple: create continuous success experiences for students.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2005
Keywords: Schools; Leadership; China
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