Case Study on the Principal Leaderships utilised in a Hong Kong Special Secondary School Setting in the NSS Educational Reform

Hastings Chim

Abstract


The education reform called the New Secondary School Curriculum (NSS) was first launched
by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong (EDB) in 2001. The reform was intended for the
improvement of all aspects of education for primary and secondary school students. Thus,
when such reform is achieved, the stakeholders of education would benefit in terms of
achieving globalization. The ultimate goal of NSS is to cultivate a self-regulatory study mode
that focuses on learning instead of mono-induction of knowledge. Upon the directions
mapped by the EDB, the implementation was established in three phases. The short-term
phase (from the periods 2001–2002 to 2005–2006) was prescribed for all schools to
formulate and integrate their school-based curricula with the elements, ideologies, and
generic skills suggested by the EDB. Subsequently, the second phase (from the periods 2006–
2007 to 2011–2012) was the intermediate stage for facilitating and piloting the NSS
curriculum into the secondary school setting. Eventually, the long-term phase (beyond 2011–
2012) was the preliminary evaluative stage that further consolidated the teaching practice to
enhance its efficacy and also provided the schools with opportunities to evaluate critically the
catalysts and obstacles affecting student learning outcomes because the first batch of
graduates should have had their examination results announced by July 2012.
Few studies examine the leadership styles of schools who serve students with Special
Education Needs (SEN) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) during the NSS education
reform, including the effects of their leadership models. In this essay, the author will first
provide a background of the NSS education reform with Burke’s four concepts of change:
content, context, process, and change participants. Based on NSS and Bush’s leadership
models, this paper will present the prerequisite of one of the local special secondary schools
in Hong Kong (HK), that is, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) Mr. and Mrs. Kwong
Sik Kwan College (KSKC) and how the two principals of KSKC, Principals Chow and Ng,
manage the team with their leadership in this education reform. After identifying their
leadership type, the author will analyze whether such educational leadership styles are 

applicable to this special school, as well as make suggestions to address the opposition
encountered by school seniors.
Aside from being the author of this case analysis, the writer was also one of the middle
managers in this school, having been serving in the English Panel for six years, during which
time he had experienced the leadership of these two principals. Both leadership styles were
proactively deployed to the NSS education reform, although their consequences differed.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ije.v7i1.6630

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