Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


This research aims to explore the perceived leadership preparation needs of middle leaders in international schools in Vietnam. Research and scholarship into the many dispositions and articulations of educational leadership in an international context has developed rapidly due to the expansion of international organizations worldwide. Nevertheless, research surrounding the leadership preparation needs of middle leaders continues to be relatively scarce.

Data was obtained using a two part data collection process. Firstly, an open-ended survey questionnaire was used as a preliminary method; followed by semi-structured focus groups, allowing for deeper exploration into the experiences of participants. Findings explored teacher perceptions that consisted of both positive and negative experiences in organizational knowledge, interpersonal skills, and pedagogic knowledge. Middle leaders’ perceptions included positive experiences of informal support from senior leaders, whilst suggesting their negative experiences were a result of feeling ill-prepared to deal with the process-relational aspects associated to the role of the middle leader, and insufficient formal professional development provision.


Mark is a final year PhD student at the University of Leicester, UK. He has previously taught and undertaken leadership roles in leading international schools in Qatar, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Mark’s research focuses on middle leadership practice and leadership preparation in international schools in South East Asia.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.