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Reason: In my DMP and participant consent forms, I explicitly stated that data of this research will only be viewed by me, my supervisor, or academic commissions of HKU (when needed). I also stated in the DMP and the consent forms, data of this research will only be kept for three years. Files and data of this research are thus not open to others.

Leadership, Rural Schools, and Rural Revitalisation: A Study of Guizhou, China

posted on 2023-12-14, 01:38 authored by Lihuan ChenLihuan Chen, Priya Goel La LondePriya Goel La Londe

Rural China is witnessing unprecedented changes in the 2020. Profoundly impacted by urbanisation, rural-urban cultural collision, and the demographic changes caused by China’s economic boom, never have the rural areas faced such a critical moment of uncertainties and chances in the recent history of China. Having realised the potential and urgency of rural issues, the central government first eliminated absolute poverty in 2010, and then committed to an even bigger and law-protected national inspiration—Rural Revitalisation. Focusing on ‘the three issues of agriculture, countryside, and rural residents’ (san nong wen ti三農問題), Rural Revitalisation aims to transform the vast rural parts of China into well-off villages that are beautiful and prosperous.

As a vital part of rural public services, the development of rural education has its special meaning to Rural Revitalisation. It empowers and develops children to bring hope and stability to rural families and communities, thus compensates for the rural social issues by bringing back people to their countryside home. However, rural education encounters impediments of accumulated underdevelopment, lack of theoretical constructs, and an ambiguous systematic position in China’s education hierarchy. Now that Rural Revitalisation is catalysing changes in rural areas, elaboration must be given to how it interacts with rural education, who promulgates and practices it in the rural school, and who would ultimately benefit from it. Considering its significant role in the school, school leadership may be the key to the enactment and implementation of Rural Revitalisation in rural communities.

This qualitative case study is based on survey, interview, and ethnographic observation. It aims to explore how school leadership supports human-centred schools that empower rural children to grow, and it inspects the leadership that bonds schools and communities together for reciprocal development under Rural Revitalisation in China. Adopting a multifocal theory of ecosystems, transformational leadership, and transformative leadership, I examine the role and function of school leadership under Rural Revitalisation. Through depicting the emerging opportunities and challenges facing rural schools, I investigate how Rural Revitalisation could be perceived and practiced by rural school leaders. In addition, I also intend to develop theoretical constructs to develop rural education in the changing era of rural development.