Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 435–445 | Cite as

The Culture of Teacher Leadership: A Survey of Teachers’ Views in Hong Kong Early Childhood Settings



Several leadership approaches have been advocated as effective ways of bringing about substantial changes in practices. “Instructional” or “transactional leadership” describes the qualities of a leader who provides the vision and impetus for change. In contrast, “transformational leadership” refers to those whose approach is more consistent with evolving trends in educational reform such as empowerment, distributed leadership, and co-construction of learning. Hong Kong has launched a variety of education reforms that focus on quality of learning and teaching. While there has been a general recognition of the importance of teacher leadership few efforts have been made to identify and promote specific approaches to teacher leadership designed to bring about desired improvements at the early childhood stage. The present study examines how teacher leaders conceive their role within current school leadership models. In this study kindergarten/preschool teachers of the senior management team were asked to complete a questionnaire concerning various aspects of leadership. Factor analysis, however, was unable to replicate the clear patterns found in Western countries which broadly differentiated between transactional and transformational styles of leadership. Instead a mix of styles was more often reported. A number of possible explanations for this finding are considered and some implications for policy makers wishing to transform kindergarten education in Hong Kong are put forward.


Teacher leadership Early years teachers Teacher development School development 



This work was supported by the grant GRF (General Research Fund: Grant No 843411) from the Hong Kong University Grant Council. The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not represent views of the funding agencies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Early Childhood EducationThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationHong Kong SARChina

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