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Frontiers of Education in China

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 422–452 | Cite as

Portraits of Principals in Chinese Urban and Rural Schools: A Comparative Analysis

  • Zhixin SuEmail author
  • Jody Dunlap
  • Huixian Xia
  • Jian Wang
  • Dan Mao
Research Article
  • 8 Downloads

Abstract

This paper reports findings from a comparative study of urban vs. rural school principals in China. It is an extension and replication of an earlier study on the profiles and preparation of school leaders in the US and China. The study illustrates modern portraits—demographic characteristics of urban and rural principals in China, explores their entry perspectives and examines their professional commitment to principalship as a lifelong career. Findings from the comparative study indicate that urban and rural school principals in China differ greatly in their profiles and characteristics. They share similar intrinsic or extrinsic reasons for becoming principals, but they also vary on some key reasons. Unfortunately, most of the principals in our study are not firmly committed to principalship as a lifelong career because of a range of disturbing factors. Findings from this study shed new light on the profiles and preparation of educational leaders in China and offer thoughtful recommendations for change to both Chinese and international education community.

Keywords

Chinese education school principals urban education rural education 

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhixin Su
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jody Dunlap
    • 1
  • Huixian Xia
    • 2
  • Jian Wang
    • 2
  • Dan Mao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationShanghai Normal UnviersityShanghaiChina

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