My first school visit outside Hong Kong and into mainland China was to Jingxi Primary School, and it all was
quite impressive. Mrs Chen Danling, the principal, exemplifies 'Invitational' leadership, seems to be a
natural fit with Invitational Education, and has very clear ideas about School Transformation, mentioning appropriate
links with Howard Gardner and enlightened change approaches popularized by Deng Xiaoping - "We are crossing the river
by feeling the stones."
Aside from the spectatular welcome, it was clear from the classroom visits,
parent involvement, faculty discussions and the traditional I.E. Powerpoint / Storyboard, that the school had initiated a
remarkable number of Invitational initiatives in a very short time - less than one year at the time, and that the initiatives
were well integrated and connected by a clear and shared vision. (see www.edb.gov.hk/.../EN/.../jingxi%20primary%20school%20(eng)-2.pdf )
Subsequently I learned more about the thoughtful approach to change practiced
by Mrs Chen, really an 'Invitational' approach to Whole School Transformation. Further, I learned that a secong
Mrs Chen a ranking government official of Guangdong Provence, has a similar 'invitational' approach to arrange
support for Liannan and Linashan schools by an arrangement with several Foshan Schools, a broader, "systems approach'
became evident, leading to my initial reflections below......