The role of contextual challenges and constraints on the relationship between principal leadership and student achievement

Published on: Author: Mark Murphy Leave a comment

Presenter: Dr Cheng Yong Tan (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong)


Summary of Seminar: Many scholars have underscored the importance of examining leadership effects with regards to the context in which it is enacted. However, few studies have systematically examined what contextual variables moderate leadership effects and how the leadership-achievement relationship is moderated. The present study addresses this gap by examining the data from 254,475 15-year-old students and principals from 10,313 schools in 32 OECD economies who participated in PISA 2012. Results of the study provide insights on the relative contribution of different leadership practices on the academic achievement of different groups of students.

Date:                3rd July 2017

Time:               12.30 – 13.30

Location:          Room 432, St Andrew’s Building, University of Glasgow, 11 Eldon Street, G3 6NH


Cheng Yong Tan is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. His concerns with the uneven quality and often inequality of student educational outcomes in many parts of the world provide a powerful impetus to his research endeavours investigating the roles of families and schools in student learning. More specifically, first he is interested to unravel how and why family background variables such as socioeconomic status and family capital contribute to student learning. To this end, he employs the conceptual lenses from Pierre Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory, digital divides theory, and social stratification and reproduction more generally, to interpret family dynamics and educational phenomena. However, he also takes cognizance of the inextricable link between family and school processes, and has similarly investigated the contribution of school organization variables such as school leadership, ability grouping, and student-centred teaching to student learning. Weaving these two strands, he endeavours to find a research niche interrogating how families and schools interact to either reinforce or compromise student learning. The multilevel modelling of student achievement, both in terms of educational quality and equality, using data from large-scale international assessments best characterizes his current research emphasis and trajectory.


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