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    You are to write an essay about leadership in early childhood education. It should have 3 parts:

    •What is leadership? This discussion of leadership should be based on the module content and the associated readings.
    •What is your leadership philosophy? This should be a discussion of your own philosophy that should reflect theory and your emerging ideas of leadership and how they apply to you as an ECEC professional. You may like to draw upon a variety of theories, subject content and personal experiences to develop this philosophy.
    •How will you enact that philosophy in an early childhood setting? You should include clear links to how you might espouse that philosophy in an early childhood setting, as an early childhood professional.


Subject Essay Writing Pages 6 Style APA


Leadership in Early Childhood Education Care

Numerous styles and theories describe leadership. However, despite the theoretical definitions of what a good leader or which leadership style is more effective than the rest, the reality is mostly different. Some leaders tend to lean towards one style while other combine different styles. Others in leadership positions might be caught out in administrative and managerial roles that they do not perform the leadership activities expected of them. A leader actions are based on the leadership philosophy they think is important. This paper will explore the meaning of leadership, my philosophy of leadership and how it can be employed as an ECEC professional.

Leadership can be formal or informal. Formal leadership is a positional leadership and requires an appointment. For instance, a director of a center enjoys positional leadership. Conversely, an unofficial leader is a person who demonstrates leadership qualities such as using appropriate skills and commitment to achieve group goals and high visibility through discussion and contribution from a non-non-defined leadership position. This distinction is important especially in a school setting to illustrate that more than one leader can exist in an organization. Some people perceive formal leadership as being problematic as they promote the top down images of leadership. Blackmore (1999) suggested that for educational leadership, a leadership that works from the bottom to the top is more suitable than the conventional leaderships.

An organization such as an education center can adopt a particular type of leadership based on its views on human nature and whether workers require leading or pushing. Theory X and Y explain this difference. Theory Y posits that employees are naturally seeking fulfillment and satisfaction from their work and as such it is based on human relations. A leader employing this kind of leadership encourages the employees to pursue personal and organizational goals while providing them with opportunity and responsibility. On the other hand, Theory X assumes that workers require leading as they are inherently lazy, lacks ambition and are unable to work without an autocratic direction (Black and Porter, 2000). This theory argues that for effective leadership to be realized, the workers have to be directed and led. Since a leader believes that workers cannot work without being directed, it shows a lack of trust and therefore characterized by constant monitoring to keep the lazy, un-ambitious workers on task.

Leaders are mostly thought to be born as opposed to managers who can be taught managerial skills. As a result of this perception of leadership, it is hard to create a framework that can help in acquiring leadership skills. Leaders and managers can be distinguished by their leadership styles as managers tend to lean towards transactional leadership where the emphasis is on achieving goals. In contrast, a transformational leader is one who aims to inspire and empower his or her followers. It has been touted as a successful leadership style by many researchers. It is proposed that in a school setting, leadership should not be concentrated in one person by instead it should be dispersed or distributed (Coleman et al., 2015). This type of leadership is viewed in the social and situational context of the school (Spillane et al., 2001). Distributed leadership involves positional leaders enabling leadership across the school setting and rejects the idea of having power concentrated in one place (Coleman et al., 2015). However, in a school setting, it is easy for leaders to be too involved in activities that do not relate to leadership but have more to do with managerial and administrative duties.

Leadership philosophy

Leadership is contextual (Coleman et al., 2015). There is not one leadership style or characteristic or theory that works alone. Effective leadership depends on the situation at hand and the best way to handle it. In a school setting, it is likely that different theories and leadership styles will be employed to achieve the desired goal. For instance, achieving goals is important and in a situation where decisions need to be made fast, democracy can be counteractive as everyone has their opinion which will only act to prolong the time taken to make the decision. In that situation, if you have enough information to make an informed decision, and you know that acceptance and application of that decision do not depend on whether the others participated, it would be easier to be autocratic and make the decision. On the other hand, if you do not have sufficient information or the decision will not be taken quickly unless the stakeholders have been involved, it is more prudent to be democratic and seek their opinion before making a choice.

Some situations require transformational leaders while for others transactional leadership is more effective. It is, therefore, important for a leader to be flexible and apply both styles where necessary. However, moderate levels of transactional and transformational leadership styles are the most appropriate as it is important to achieve a balance between workers and tasks. Workers need motivation which can be in the form of money, praise or promotion.  A transactional leader provides these rewards by creating a conducive environment and rewarding the workers for their achievements (Rodd, 2012). As a result, the success of suck leaders is based on the ability of the workers to perceive them as being able to deliver on the promises. For instance, workers who are motivated by money and praises are going to work best under a leader they perceive as able to provide consistently those rewards.

On the other hand, they would not perform as well as a leader who is not a constituent or does not provide those rewards. Conversely, workers need to feel like part of a team, and this is provided by a transformational leader. A transformational leader can make the employees feel motivated and inspired to achieve team goals (Hard, 2006). A transformational leader is sensitive to people’s need and provides inspiration. He or she is a visionary and is involved with the big picture. It is, therefore, important to create a balance between the two to achieve the best results in the form of completing tasks and inspiring the workers to be a part of a team.

The Philosophy in early Childhood Setting

As an early childhood professional, both the employees and the children in a school setting need to feel like they belong to a team that has the same goals and tasks needs to be completed. For the grownups to feel part of a team, it is important that they feel valued as individuals. As a result, it is crucial to treat each one of them as individuals meaning that you have to know what drives them and what they hope to achieve. This can only be achieved by trying to understand them. It is only then that it would be possible to align their goals and the goals of the institutions. That way, they are not going to feel left out or taken for granted. The strategy applies to both parents and colleagues. Additionally, it is critical to figure out what drives them to provide something similar. Motivation is an important part of achieving goals.

Children require both direction and compassion. Balancing between transformational and transactional leadership styles will achieve the desired objectives. For instance, when forming a curriculum for children, it is essential that you put them first and model it in a way that suits them. This is possible after knowing them to understand what they need. Although there are various curriculums to choose from, sometimes it is necessary to model one that is unique to your children. On the other hand utilizing transactional skills comes into play when you want the children to do a particular task they are reluctant to do. Finding the right reward will make the work easier. Parents, colleagues and children all respond to both styles depending on the situation, and it is, therefore, essential to acquire both methods and employ them appropriately to achieve the desired objectives.

In a school setting, there are both formal and informal leaders both of whom have critical roles to play. A leader should be able to interact effectively with the various stakeholders in a school including parents, teachers and children to achieve the desired objectives. An effective leader is one who inspires but is also able to get the job done. Such a leader has to balance between inspiring and motivating people and providing the necessary environment and incentives to complete tasks. A leader has specific traits that combine to produce an effective leader. Regardless of whether the leader has been appointed or non-defined, an effective leader is an inspiration to the rest.




Blackmore, J. (1999). Troubling Women. Feminism and educational change. Buckingham:

Open University Press.

 Black, J. S., and Porter, L. W. (2000). Management. Meeting new challenge. New

 Jersey. Prentice Hall.

Coleman, A., Sharp, C., & Handscomb, G. (2015). Leading Highly Performing

Children’s Centres: Supporting the Development of the ‘Accidental Leaders’. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741143215574506

Hard, L. (2006). How is leadership understood and enacted within the field of early

childhood education and care. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16213/1/Louise_Hard_Thesis.pdf


Rodd, J. (2012). Leadership in early childhood. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Spillane, J., Halverson, R., & Diamond, J. (2001). Investigating School Leadership Practice:

A Distributed Perspective. Educational Researcher, 30(3), 23-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189×030003023


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