This chapter aims to offer a theoretical discussion on the changing landscape of leadership and explores the emerging practice of teacher leadership in ECE in China. In 2010, the central government of China introduced several waves of policies relating to teacher professional development to improve and promote the quality of ECE. The global discourses mainly developed in the West have indicated that school leadership plays an important role in promoting teachers’ professional development and the quality of education. These discourses have influenced the agenda for educational reform in China as reflected in the recent strategies formulated for the development of school leadership in ECE. Historically, ECE teachers have been viewed as babysitters rather than as educators, and preschool principals have been considered policy implementers and school managers rather than school leaders of innovation and change. This chapter discusses the changing landscape of school leadership in China’s ECE and how it is influenced by a hierarchical culture. It is argued that the practices of school leadership have been largely centralised in the hands of preschool principals, alongside of which there has been an emergence of teacher leadership co-exercised with principalship in home-school networks and teaching research groups.
Part of the book: Teacher Education in the 21st Century