In Taiwan, the role of school principals has shifted from that of an authoritative commander to that of a democratic facilitator at both the instructional and management level. This study was conducted to examine the experiences of school principals at the elementary and junior high school level in the change process and to determine the strategies that principals apply to facilitate school democracy. The qualitative methods employed in this study included semi structured interviews and a review of secondary research data. Twenty principals were recruited from elementary and junior high schools in Central Taiwan. The principals perceived school democracy in terms of cohesion, participation, respect, law abidance, equity, and diversity. To facilitate school democracy, the principals applied strategies of communication, dissemination and caution, coherence building, relationship building (guanxi), trial and error, and empowerment.
Keywords: principal leadership, school democracy, school improvement, Taiwan