This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Chinese School Principals’ Behavioral Intentions in Relation to Green School Practices




Wang, Ting

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This elicitation study explored Chinese school principals’ beliefs and practices associated with sustainability and green school practices. Using the theory of planned behavior (TPB) as the theoretical framework, this study investigated what school principals in China reported in relation to their salient behavioral beliefs (attitude), normative beliefs (subjective norms), and control beliefs (perceived behavioral control) relative to green school practices. People’s attention toward certain behavior was predicted by their attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control in actual behavior (Ajzen, 1991). In terms of the green school practices, Chinese school principals reported five top advantages of sustaining a green school: teachers and students with high awareness of environmental protection, comfortable school internal environment, unpolluted surroundings, school leaders’ support, and enough teachers who support green school practices. Some of the disadvantages in leading and managing a green school are: teachers and students with weak awareness of environmental protection, polluted surroundings, lack of professionals, and lack of information/knowledge of environmental protection. According to the theory of planned behavior (TPB), school principals’decision-making may be affected by the preferences of others. Regarding green school practices within schools, Chinese school principals indicated some parents, teachers, students, education authorities, and people with the awareness of environmental protection would approve of implementing green school practices. Last but not least, school leaders’ perceived abilities and control over implementing green school practices is a distinctive factor associated with these leaders’ intentions regarding such practices (Ajzen, 1991). The Chinese school principals reported that support and attention from senior authorities, people’s knowledge/attention toward green schools, cultivating students’ awareness of environmental protection, parents’ support and anticipation, and people’s knowledge of environmental protection would enable school leaders to implement green school practices. They reported lack of funds, lack of support from senior leaders and teachers, as well as negative school environment as obstacles in leading and managing a green school. The responses reported in this study cannot be generalized, but will lay the foundation for future research.