book is about the comparative perspectives of seven countries on educational
leadership. The perspectives are taken from scholars, policy makers and practicers
of their respective countries. They write their views based upon their countries
educational culture and context. The countries are Australia, Malaysia,
England, Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia and Indonesia.
perspectives are based on comparing the knowledge of these countries’
educational leadership. They compared their countries’s educational policy,
practice, research and leadership. The latter’s perspective was detailed into System,
Professional, Leader and Learner levels which was discussed thoroughly in this
editors had also highlighted that, these views are strictly comparative
perspective and they cannot be viewed as a cross cultural analysis. This was an
important statement from the editors because this book gives factual
informations based on the observations of different countries’ educational
justifies the book’s purpose, that it is to inform the knowledge that they
acquired through observation instead of being a guide book on educational
to the author, this book is formed from the results of Asia Leadership Summit
2014, Kuala Lumpur. Even though, the author emphasised that this is not a
conference book, it can be partially considered as one, because the book takes
the questions, by the students in the Summit, to form its structure.
questions are discussed in three sections of this book; System Level,
Professional Level and Leader-Learner Level. Every section has a set of
questions to be answered by the authors in all these countries. They give
different intellectual perspectives which can result in designing the future of
the first section on System Level, the educational policy of these countries
are defined in various terms. In Chapter 1 it is about China, and how it’s
educational policy, which the author claims to be authoritarian, rely upon
international standards (Programme for Internaitonal Student Assessment-PISA), and
how this brings about change in their national education policy making. The
author, critiques on China’s education system and how international standards
should actually be used to guide policy
making in education. At the same time, he also emphasised the authoritarian
method supresses innovation and creativity among students. Thus, it brings into
question on the effectiveness of using international standards as a benchmark
for China’s national education policy.
Chapter 2, it compared views from scholars in Singapore and USA on policy
formation and implementation. Besides that, comparison bertween Ontario,
Singapore and Canada’s education system were also discussed. These observations
conclude the importance of policy making as a process that involves both educators
and policy makers.
Chapter 3, the scholars in Russia also discussed the construction of policy and
how they should include the government in the process. They argued that
practicers will be effective in the policy making process when the system is
transformed by innovative schools that brings new ideas.
Chapter 4, policy making in Hong Kong has been noted as a major transformation
in the past two decades. The author gave some views on how these can improve
leadership development within the system. At the same time, difference in
school culture is impeding growth to innovative leadership. An interesting
observation by the author states that leadership development must include
emotional strengths. From this view, it can be concluded, leadership also requires
other specific skills rather than just focusing on technical skills.
Chapter 5, the current leadership practices were discussed and how this affects
the future of education. The authors emphasised on the need of leaders to be
innovative and to be adaptable to change. This is an important perspective because
to achieve transformational leadership, school leaders as policy makers, must
be aware of the needs of current society.
Chapter 6, the author had an interesting observation from schools in Ontario, Canada,
where an important reform took place. System improvement is beneficial when it
is open to both formal and organic structure. It means the school stucture
becomes an open system, and it is a bridge to connect leaders in education which
will result in system transformation.
second section is about professional level, specifically in leading
Chapter 7, the focus was on professional learning communities of Hong Kong. A
small scale qualitative study was used to study the level of this professional learning
in five primary schools. The conclusion of the findings reveal the schools need
more support to build professional teachers. This a general finding as only
five primary schools were observed and it lacks data from secondary schools.
Thus, the professional learning capacity of these schools cannot be used to
categorize other schools especially in secondary schools.
Chapter 8, the authors discussed the professional learning of principals in
Malaysia. With the introduction of National Professional Educational Leadership
Qualification (NPQEL), principals become better leaders and they are relevant
to the current education sector.
next chapters discusses the challenges in schools with disadvantaged
communities and how professional collaboration can bring positive changes. They
compared perspectives from schools in Australia, England, Russis and Singapore.
Their findings reveal the need of highly skilled leaders in all levels of the
third and final section of this book, discusses the leader and learner level.
This is where the practice of a school leader is observed. This is the highlight
of this book because the perspective is based upon Generation X leaders and not
the baby boomers. This is an important observation as the future leaders will
be disctinctly different from their predecessors due to their innovative method
of dealing with accountability and technology.
section also reemphasis the importance of context and culture of learners from
various backgrounds. An education system’s success relies upon the success of its
learners, so the importance of innovative and visionary pedagogy is a need to
make this success happen. In order to carry out such system effectively, collaboration
between policy makers, leaders and learners are essential.
by comparing perspectives of global leaders, the future of a good educational
leadership is attainable. Many would argue on frequent changing of policies and
practices in education affects the results of leaders and learners. But this change
can also be viewed as a revolving wheel of stength and wholeness, as all these
aspects are constantly related and will always be in motion. And this constant
motion, signifies the future is always present.