Principals’ perceptions of effective teaching: A survey of Chinese school principals

Shujie Liu, Jian Wang, Hongmei Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Principals’ beliefs of effective teaching presumably shape their efforts to recruit teachers, evaluate teaching quality, support teachers to develop their teaching practices, and nurture the professional environment that promotes high the teaching quality in their schools. Drawing on survey data from 314 Chinese principals, this study examines principals’ perceptions of effective teaching and compares them with those of Chinese teachers and U.S. school principals in the literature. The study found that Chinese principals believed effective teaching practices to be those that align lesson plans with student learning styles, engage students actively in the learning process, offer clear, specific, and timely feedback, treat all students with respect, and maintain a physical and emotional safe environment for learning. These ideas are consistent with Chinese teachers’ perceptions about effective teaching but are clearly differentiated from those of U.S. principals. These perceptions were varied as participants had different years of administrative experiences, worked in urban or rural schools, and in schools with different levels of student performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-250
Number of pages26
JournalKEDI Journal of Educational Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Chinese teachers
  • Comparisons
  • Effective teaching
  • Principals’ perceptions
  • U.S. principals


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