Chinese-Canadian Bilingual Program: Perceptions of School Culture and Leadership

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The culture of every school is unique and exclusive to just their setting. A school’s culture evolves over time and it is the responsibility of the school’s leaders to understand it, cultivate it, change it if necessary, work within it, and negotiate it. The culture of a Chinese-Canadian bilingual program can be more distinctive and therefore complex to negotiate by school leaders as stakeholders have culturally and linguistically based expectations of the program that are linked to their own ancestral and/or ethnic culture. It therefore becomes important for leaders of Chinese bilingual programs to understand these expectations and unique aspects of their school culture in order to succeed. The purpose of this study was to identify the components and influences of the school culture of a Chinese-Canadian bilingual program and how the leaders of this program negotiated these components and influences. This inquiry was done through a qualitative research approach that employed a bounded case study methodology. Data was gathered through an anonymous online questionnaire that was given to the parents and teachers of this Chinese bilingual program, as well as through the review of school documents that were available to the public, and from drawing on personal experiences. The findings of this inquiry determined that the leaders of the Chinese Bilingual program must address the funds of knowledge of the parents, teachers, and of themselves. They do so by drawing on the properties of funds of knowledge, culturally responsive leadership, and linguistically responsive leadership, which in turn contribute to strengthening relational trust, shared leadership, and instructional leadership.
bilingual program leadership, school culture, culturally responsive leadership, linguistically responsive leadership
Cheung, C. E. (2019). Chinese-Canadian Bilingual Program: Perceptions of School Culture and Leadership (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from