The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that influence expatriate teacher engagement in K-12 international schools in China. Using an exploratory qualitative methodology, 23 teachers and 6 administrators at three different international schools in China were interviewed on site in focus groups and individual interviews. The following research questions guided the inquiry: 1. In what ways do expatriate international-school teachers and administrators describe teacher engagement? 2. In what ways do expatriate international-school teachers exhibit engagement? 3. What are the barriers to expatriate teacher engagement in K-12 international schools? 4. What are the drivers of expatriate teacher engagement in K-12 international schools? Key findings suggest that highly engaged teachers impact student learning directly through their interactions with students and continuous modification of instruction in response to student performance and learning needs. Teachers further support student learning through engagement with colleagues and with the profession. Supportive leadership, meaningful work, and supportive colleagues were seen as key drivers of teacher engagement. Teacher transience, overwhelm, cultural differences, and personal health or family issues were seen as barriers to teacher engagement. Implications for practice include guidelines for developing a school-level teacher-engagement strategy based on embedding key drivers of engagement into the culture of the school and using a transformational leadership approach and the Job-Demands Resources model at the organizational and individual level. The impact of teacher transience is an important area for future research as is expatriate teachers’ intercultural competence as international schools continue to grow and accommodate more host-country students.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.July 2019. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Deanne Magnusson. 1 computer file (PDF); 179 pages.
Factors Influencing Expatriate Teacher Engagement in K-12 International Schools in China.
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