Principals’ Guidelines to Implement the Balanced Development Education of Primary Schools in Kunming City

A Mixed-Methods Multi-phase Study

  • Wang Zhen
  • anchalee Chayanuvat
Keywords: Balanced Development of Education, Principals’ Leadership, Leadership Guidelines, Kunming Primary Schools


Despite many significant factors related to educational reform, successful implementation of Balanced Development Education (BDE) is attributed to the principals’ roles, responsibilities, leadership skills and strategies. Thus, this study aimed to 1) investigate the influence of roles. responsibilities, leadership skills and strategies of the primary school principals whose responsibility is to introduce Balanced Education Development in Kunming, Yunnan Province 2) explore the roles, responsibilities, leadership skills and strategies of the primary school principals and 3) develop guidelines for the principals of primary schools that will enable them to effectively implement BDE in their schools. This study adopted a mixed-methods multi=phase research design approach. The first phase was carried out by content analysis of sixty related documents for better understanding the relationship between BDE and quality education. The second step was collecting 268 the questionnaires from a population of 755 based on Yamane’s formula. Thirdly, a group of 12 volunteering interviewees were purposively selected for a semi-structured interview. Finally, a group of seven experts were invited to critically analyze the guidelines derived from the combined three sets of data sources. The findings revealed that 1) gender and age had no effect on the principals’ capabilities. Levels of education (from ‘diploma’ onwards) positively affected how the principals worked. Years in the positions of the principals and the principals under BDE policy showed that experience in the job might be an advantage but negatively affected their strategies, 2) the principals in the study took the roles of academic leaders, operational managers and network leaders but the principals also needed to show desirable personality traits and characteristics. Teamwork skills was the most necessary for both academic and management leadership, 3) The resulting guidelines could offer a proper framework for the principals to follow. First, the principals must be BDE leaders in student development by ensuring that all students feel valued, get attention, care and love in a safe and diverse learning environment for their physical and mental health. Secondly, the principals must professionally develop their teachers and their self-growth to be able to provide quality education and make the school a learning organization. Thirdly, the principals must nurture partnerships with the community and other external organizations such as urban schools by emphasizing good relationship with parents and cooperating and collaborating in exchanging both human and material resources with those schools.