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  • Confucian Junzi Leadership:

    A Model of Authentic Moral Transformation for

    Educational Leaders

    by

    Christine Tze Ngan Wong

    M.Ed. (Curriculum & Instruction: Post-Secondary), Simon Fraser University, 2008

    Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

    of the Requirements for the Degree of

    Doctor of Education

    in the

    Educational Leadership Program

    Faculty of Education

     Christine Tze Ngan Wong 2013

    SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

    Spring 2013

    All rights reserved. However, in accordance with the Copyright Act of Canada, this work may

    be reproduced, without authorization, under the conditions for “Fair Dealing.” Therefore, limited reproduction of this work for the

    purposes of private study, research, criticism, review and news reporting is likely to be in accordance with the law, particularly if cited appropriately.

  • ii

    Approval

    Name: Christine Tze Ngan Wong

    Degree: Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership)

    Title of Thesis: Confucian Junzi Leadership: A model of authentic moral transformation for educational leaders

    Examining Committee:

    Chair: Dr. Celeste Snowber Associate Professor

    Dr. Allan MacKinnon Senior Supervisor Associate Professor

    Dr. Heesoon Bai Supervisor Professor

    Dr. Paul Crowe Internal Examiner Assistant Professor Director of David Lam Centre

    Dr. Xin Lin External Examiner Professor, College of Education California State University, Long Beach

    Date Defended/Approved: January 24, 2013

  • iii

    Partial Copyright Licence

  • iv

    Abstract

    The specific personality of junzi is the primary concern of Confucian philosophy. This

    study explores Confucian junzi leadership so as to understand Confucian ethics in its

    own terms as well as to contribute to the contemporary forum of educational leadership.

    Through analyzing the unique Confucian moral principles and insights, the study

    presents a model of educational leadership with an emphasis on authentic moral

    transformation. Seven qualities of junzi leadership have been highlighted, including: a

    high degree of moral accomplishment, an awareness of moral obligation, a

    consciousness of being human, a passion for social harmony, an integration of self and

    others, an illustration of transformation, and a state of balance. The study also unveils

    five aspects of junzi leadership that make sense particularly to educational leadership.

    They are: the awareness of self-identity, the moral meaning of learning, the construct of

    moral transformation, the respect towards culture, and the relation between teacher and

    student. Today’s education landscape presents a new set of challenges for educational

    leaders. Junzi leadership may not be able to solve every practical problem of modern

    education, but Confucian commitment to transformation and devotion to moral cultivation

    may provide a concrete universal platform for today’s educators who wish to sustain

    their leadership.

    Keywords: Confucius; Junzi; Leadership; Ren; Dao; Tian; Self-cultivation; Authentic; Moral; Transformational

  • v

    Dedication

    In memory of my father who passed away

    when I started to write this thesis; and to people

    who are interested in unveiling the wisdom of

    Confucian teachings

  • vi

    Acknowledgements

    My thanks go first of all to my senior supervisor, Dr. Allan MacKinnon, for his

    encouragement and guidance, and especially for giving me the generous support

    throughout the journey of thesis writing. I am also grateful for the valuable comments

    and inspiring feedback provided by Dr. Heesoon Bai on my thesis.

    I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my husband and daughter. This is my

    husband, Tony, who demonstrates his endless support for my career and the pursuit of

    my Doctorate of Education. This is my daughter, Opal, who always motivates me to

    move forward. She is an unlimited source of courage and hope for me. She has turned

    into my pride and joy.

    Also, I must extend very special thanks to my parents. They set great examples

    in their lives, and I have learnt a lot from them. They were my best teachers who taught

    me the first lessons when I was a child. They guided me to improve myself throughout

    every step of my life. My gratitude towards them is well beyond words.

    Last but not least, I wish to thank my brother, Edmond, and my sister, Ida.

    Though they live far away from Vancouver (one in Sydney and one in Toronto), their

    timely and encouraging emails always provide me with so much care and love.

  • vii

    Table of Contents

    Approval .......................................................................................................................... ii Partial Copyright Licence ............................................................................................... iii Abstract .......................................................................................................................... iv Dedication ....................................................................................................................... v Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ vi Table of Contents .......................................................................................................... vii List of Figures.................................................................................................................. x

    1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1 1.1. Background ............................................................................................................ 1 1.2. Objectives .............................................................................................................. 2 1.3. Methodological Issues ............................................................................................ 4

    1.3.1. Selection of Confucian Texts ....................................................................... 5 1.3.2. Translation of Terms ................................................................................... 7

    1.4. Overview of the Thesis ........................................................................................... 8

    2. An Overview of American Educational Leadership .......................................... 10 2.1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 10 2.2. Three Principalship Roles ..................................................................................... 10

    2.2.1. The 1960s and 1970s ............................................................................... 11 2.2.2. The 1980s ................................................................................................. 11 2.2.3. The 1990s ................................................................................................. 11

    2.3. Educational Leadership Models ............................................................................ 12 2.3.1. Managerial Leadership .............................................................................. 13 2.3.2. Instructional Leadership ............................................................................ 14 2.3.3. Transactional Leadership .......................................................................... 14 2.3.4. Transformational Leadership ..................................................................... 15 2.3.5. Participative Leadership ............................................................................ 15 2.3.6. Interpersonal Leadership .......................................................................... 16 2.3.7. Contingent Leadership .............................................................................. 16 2.3.8. Moral Leadership ...................................................................................... 17 2.3.9. Post-modern Leadership ........................................................................... 17

    2.4. Four Major Trends ................................................................................................ 19 2.4.1. The Influence from Business Management ............................................... 19 2.4.2. The Tendency towards Marketization ........................................................ 21 2.4.3. Revisiting Values ...................................................................................... 23 2.4.4. The Passion for Change ........................................................................... 25

    2.5. The Call for Connection ........................................................................................ 27

    3. The Great Master and the Core Virtues ............................................................. 31 3.1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 31 3.2. The life of Confucius ............................................................................................. 31 3.3. Confucian Understand