Does middle leadership matter? Evidence from a study of system-wide reform on English language curriculum

Sandy S C LI*, Anita Y K POON, Kwok Hung LAI, Selena T.C. Tam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This quantitative study was designed to examine how the interplay of middle leadership and other contextual factors such as teachers’ receptivity toward the reform and teacher professional development impacts on implementing system-wide English language curriculum reform. Through stratified random sampling, 352 English language teachers from 51 local secondary schools were recruited to participate in the study. Structural equation modeling and multilevel analysis techniques were employed to examine the direct and indirect effects of different contextual factors on teachers’ pedagogical change and perceived student learning. The results indicate that middle leadership at the subject department level exerts substantial positive and direct influence on teachers’ change in pedagogical practices, their participation in system-wide professional development activities, teachers’ receptivity toward the reform and their perceived student learning. The results of the multilevel analysis also indicate that middle leadership at the subject department level accounts for over 60% of the variation of the perceived student learning across the participating schools. We argue that unleashing the full leadership potential of middle leaders is conducive to effecting change in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-243
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management

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