Power bases and power tensions: a critical analysis of education inspection policies and practices in China

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper explores power bases and power tensions among education bureaux, inspection offices, and schools in China. The six bases of social power were applied as the analytical framework to scrutinize 13 policy documents and eight interviews with inspectors. The study uncovered three types of power tensions: education bureau’s informational power versus inspection office’s legitimate power, inspectors’ expert power versus referent power, and school’s expert power versus inspection office and education bureau’s legitimate power. China is developing a high-stakes accountability-based inspection system. Inspectors and schools are pressured to deliver prescribed educational goals. Education bureaux remains powerful in the power structure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-20
    Number of pages15
    JournalLeadership and Policy in Schools
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021

    Keywords

    • Education inspection
    • ideology
    • power
    • China
    • critical policy analysis
    • expert interviews

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Strategy and Management

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