School collaboration has become a popular approach for education improvement in global education reform. This study examined the dynamics of stakeholder school collaboration in China to improve public education using a case study focused on an Education Group government initiative in Chengdu, China. Frist an introduction to a global reform for education improvement through school collaboration is given, followed by a review of global reform for school collaboration and Hargreaves and Shirley’s discussion on design and innovation for school networks and collaboration to visualize the framework for the interpretation of the stakeholders’ school collaborative interactions. Then, the school collaboration for education improvement in China is examined in detail based on 20 interviews with stakeholders from educational authorities, the lead and member schools involved in the establishment of the Education Groups in Chengdu, China. The interviews were designed based on a review of policy documents about construction of the Education Groups in Chengdu. The findings revealed that the establishment of the Education Groups in Chengdu was driven by both top-down initiatives and bottom-up innovations, and while there had been some success in improving education quality in the lower performing schools, the stakeholder interactions had been hindered by the lack of policy coordination within and beyond the education reforms. It was concluded that a collective institutional context was needed to foster the shared values and trust needed between all stakeholders and promote the sustainable reform of the Education Groups to ensure education equity and quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas