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The implementation of national educational reform in China calls for newer and stronger school administration. Recognizing the need to establish a knowledge base for leadership development, we employ a set of existing US professional standards for educational leaders as a frame of reference to unpack the complex role of Chinese superintendents. Using data collected from two surveys administered to more than 200 Chinese superintendents in 2007, we find that many indicators of leadership considered essential in the United States are also viewed as necessary for effective superintendency in China. Feedback from the superintendents also points out gaps between what is perceived as important and what is in practice. This article contributes to the efforts of building meaningful global dialogues among researchers and practitioners on developing a new generation of education administrators.


This article was originally published in Comparative Education Review, volume 56, issue 2, in 2012. DOI:10.1086/661771

1430apa.pdf (248 kB)
Superintendency Profile Survey (in Chinese)

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University of Chicago Press



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