EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP IN CHINESE IMMERSION SCHOOLS
Doctor of Education
Dr. Fredrick Dressen
Dr. Jerry Robicheau
Dr. Stephen O’Conner
Principals of school organizations play a significant role in the effectiveness of the learning environment and students’ academic performance. The purpose of this study was to identify the critical organizational leadership elements and the critical principal leadership characteristics of Chinese immersion school principals and principals related to school success.
While there are many aspects of the historical context of leadership in education and leadership models, this study also discussed different aspects of educational organizations that influence existing immersion schools. Many previous research studies have discussed the benefits and challenges of immersion schools. This dissertation focused on the Chinese immersion schools’ principals’ perspectives on leadership and success.
The study’s findings placed a high value on principals to be the school’s leader of change by creating an educational vision and positive, caring school culture and implementing effective communications and equity-focused leadership skills to advance the school’s learning success. The principals’ communications need to be authentic and organic conversations with staff to support the unique needs of the immersion staff. Principals must collaborate with parents to ensure they understand the school’s goals for their students. While participants did not believe it was necessary to speak the language, they stressed the importance of understanding the process of learning a language.
The study recognized the benefit of future research exploring the impact of leadership on different languages, focusing on specific leadership strategies to improve school success and studying varying targets to measure immersion school success.
The study’s research found leadership passion to be the one theme required of all immersion school principals. Future studies will likely confirm the value of this theme.