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  1. Paper Details

    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.

    [Your philosophy will underpin your approaches to the Management tasks you choose to undertake in Module 2.] 



    Note: This is an essay. It is expected that you will include a well-constructed introduction and conclusion, and well-formed, complete sentences and paragraphs. You can have headings for each section or link them together if you are confident to do so.



    An essential part of leadership is the ability to articulate beliefs and information to others. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your emerging ideas of leadership and your own progress in developing as a leader.


    In education and in early childhood education in particular, there is an increasing need to communicate effectively with a range of participants. This task is designed to afford you the opportunity to translate your leadership philosophy to others. This is designed to afford you the chance to articulate the theoretical and conceptual ideas discussed in the subject content.


    This assessment addresses the following subject learning objectives:


    -be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of leadership theories in educational contexts;

    -be able to demonstrate an understanding of the challenging nature of leadership, particularly in terms of gender and the field of early childhood education and care;

    -be able to demonstrate an understanding of, and an ability to apply a variety of administrative and leadership skills in educational contexts;

    -be able to strategically apply leadership skills for making positive change for individuals, families and communities, in a diverse range of contexts;

    -understand the enactment of leadership within classrooms, services/schools and communities;



    Marking criteria

    This assessment will be marked according to the following criteria:


    1. Discussion of leadership (15 marks)




    1. Personal philosophy of leadership (10 marks)


    1. Discussion of enacting your philosophy of leadership in the workplace (10 marks)


    1. Academic writing, grammar and referencing (5 marks)



    Should be typed in 12 point font with 1.5 spacing. Essay format with in text referencing and bibliography.


    Please choose 5 to reference from the following:

    Recommended reading / resources;


    Barnes, S., ‘Curriculum Club’-discussing, debating and disrupting early childhood curriculum. Paper presented at PECERA, 8th Annual conference, Rethinking Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong, July, 4-7.


    Broinowski, I. (2004). Managing children’s services. Tertiary Press, Croydon


    Brownlee, J., Nailon, D., & Tickle, E. (2010) Constructing leadership in child care: Epistomological beliefs and transformational leadership, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35(3). 950104.


    Carter, M., &Curtis, D. (2010) The visionary director. St Paul: Redleaf Press.


    Decker, C., Decker, J., Freeman, N., & Knopf, H. (2009). Planning and administering early childhood programs, Pearson, New Jersey


    Duignan, P. (2006). Educational leadership: key challenges and ethical tensions. Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.


    Duignan, P., (2012). Educational leadership: together creating ethical learning environments (2nd ed). Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.


    Ebbeck, M., & Waniganayake, M. (2004), Early childhood professionals: Leading today and tomorrow. Maclennan and Petty, Sydney.


    Hard, L. (2006) Horizontal Violence in early childhood education and care: Implications for leadership enactment. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(3), 40-47.


    Kieff, J. (2009). Informed advocacy in early childhood care and education: Making a difference for young children and families, Pearson, New Jersey


    Lárusdóttir, S, H. (2007). ‘The fact that I’m a woman may have been a deciding factor’: The moral dilemmas of an Icelandic Headteacher. Educational Management Administration and Leadership. 35(2), 261-276.


    Rodd, J. (2006). Leadership in early childhood, Allen & Unwin: Sydney.


    Sinclair, A. (2005). Doing leadership differently: gender,power and sexuality in a changing business culture. Australian Institute of Management, Carlton.


    Sinclair, A. (2007). Leadership for the disillusioned. Moving beyond myths and heroes to leading that liberates. Allen and Unwin: Sydney.


    York-Barr, J., & Duke, D. (2004). What do we know about teacher leadership? Findings from two decades of scholarship. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 255-316.


    Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech,M., Hadley, F., & Shepherd, W. (2012). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.


Subject Essay Writing Pages 8 Style APA


Leadership in Early Childhood


            While the term leadership is thrown around at almost any instance when describing managers and leaders involved in early childhood, the term has failed us to say the least. In fact, pedagogical leadership must not be considered on its own simply because an attempt by early childhood leaders to practice leadership in the conventional mould will fall short. This means that leadership must be viewed out of a holistic approach in which the full extent of leadership responsibilities as well as roles expected of modern childhood leaders are at the core.

Discussion of Leadership

            Indeed, Sinclair (2005) declares that leadership is a social construction, which implies that leadership is often a misunderstood concept as it may vary depending on the setting it is practiced. This includes the fact that leadership emerges as an outcome of the emotional as well as often unconscious needs, the traits and skills of a leader, and early experiences and aspirations of the followers. The implication is that the concept of leadership is all encompassing and can be defined through a number of characteristics. As an example, it is evident that leadership involves the skills and traits of a leader. This dimension is crucial to understanding the concept of leadership because it implies the imperative need for those in managerial positions to have diverse skill set or traits that set them apart from the rest. This leads to the other characteristic associated with leadership, which is experiences as well as aspirations of the followers. The suggestion is that in leadership there ought to be those who are led, perhaps by one of them who possesses diverse skills and traits.

            Duignan (2012) illustrates that leadership is noticeable by a number of characteristics. In essence, leaders are distinguishable because of certain characteristics that serve to set them apart. For instance, leaders often have a presence about them, which implies that they tend to have skills as well as traits that are influential. Duignan (2012) points out that leaders are easily noticeable for the sense of presence they exude. This suggests that leaders ought to be influence those around them including making them followers of their beliefs so that they can lead them towards the realization of predetermined goals. Nevertheless, leaders often work consciously to improve the quality of their presence in relationships with their subordinates to ensure that constructive relationships are born. This is crucial in leadership because those in leadership positions ought to have positive relationships with the employees, which in turn ensures proper work environment is developed enabling employees to realize maximum potential. The insinuation is that leadership often involves persons in managerial positions consistently looking to develop as well as enhance their presence to take the organization forward through the realization of goals. Duignan (2012), notes that via conversations, interviews, as well as workshops the concept of leadership has become clearer because almost all of them said they had to work hard to enhance their presence in relationships. This suggests that leadership skills are honed over the years as managers and directors in early childhood environments seek to perfect them. This goes against the widespread assumption that leadership is inborn and some persons cannot make good leaders. Leaders that have authentic presence are noticeable for a number of characteristics. For instance, they are increasingly present to themselves, which means that they identify their character including what they stand for as well as the direction they intend to take in life (Duignan, 2012). This includes the fact that they take considerable time reflecting on the quality of their interactions and actions. What is more, they are renowned for being attentive listeners, understandings, as well as sensitive to persons who are in need of support. More so, leaders utilize their influence to help transform the rest to higher levels of motivation as well as performance. It is evident that leadership takes a rather holistic perspective into management, as mirrored by the fact that leaders ought to possess skills as well as traits necessary to build relationships that they can use to bring about positive outcomes. It can be said that leaders arm themselves with potential leaders in the form of employees and other subordinates.

             Duignan (2012) claims that the work of authentic educational leaders is transformational which can be understood to mean they promote as well as support transformational learning and teaching for students. As leaders, they accomplish this through bringing in their deepest beliefs, values, principles, as well as convictions to their educational and managerial work. The insinuation is that leadership in early childhood settings possess the engagement of the self with the other, which translates to a deep sense of responsibility for what is happening to the others. This feature of leadership is crucial to creation of trust as well as positive relationship because leaders must be compassionate towards their subordinates if they are going to positively influence them.

Personal Philosophy of Leadership

Past studies on organizational leadership have consistently demonstrated the significance of leadership to staff as well as organizational outcomes. Thus, it becomes imperative that the adopted philosophy of leadership is appropriate to the specific setting. Transformational leadership is among the most effective philosophies of leadership and it has been demonstrated to have an effect on various variables within an organization. Ebbeck and Waniganayake (2004) claim that teachers- as part of wider early childhood leadership- are increasingly assuming more leadership functions at organizational and instructional levels of practice. Nonetheless, Brownlee et al (2010) notes that in educational settings effective leadership is linked to improved tutor motivation as well as commitment to organization change. This implies that effective leaders ought to be able to motivate subordinates to ensure that their efforts are meant to contribute towards overarching goals. This includes facilitating employees to overcome the myriad challenges they encounter in the process of undertaking roles and responsibilities. Brownlee et al (2010) claims that the idea of effective leadership can be examined through the body of literature associated with transformational leadership. In particular, transformational leaders are viewed as those capable of engaging subordinates in such a matter to enable them perform at levels beyond expectations. Transformational leadership, as such, can be viewed out of several dimensions including inspirational motivation. This relates to promotion of subordinate involvement as well as commitment to an organization. In addition, transformational leadership can be perceived to relate to idealized influence, which is associated with the promotion of respect as well as trust in subordinates. It must be noted that leaders assume the role of role models whilst enabling those under them to develop a sense of mission. This is crucial to facilitating creativity among members and ensuring organizations remain profitable. The other dimension associated with transformational leadership involves intellectual stimulation, which is concerned with the manner in which leaders encourage subordinates to learn as well as think in creative ways. In fact, subordinates are increasingly likely to engage in creative approaches when leaders engender a sense of respect. What is more, individualized consideration characterizes transformational leadership, and implies that leaders engage with subordinates on an individual level. This includes overseeing that staff members are treated as crucial members of the workplace society including appropriate consideration of individual needs. Such a feature is crucial to the creation of a, environment appropriate for desired work behaviour.

In particular, individualized consideration as well as intellectual simulation dimensions reflects increased concern with staff learning via mentoring and facilitation. Influence and inspirational motivation are some of the crucial aspects in support for effective learning. Brownlee et al (2010), note that the significance of trust in relation to effective learning is unquestionable. More so, the behaviours imply that knowledge can be created by learners as well as gained via reasoning. It can be said that the dimensions involving individualized consideration and intellectual stimulation indicate increased concern with a subordinate’s learning in the workplace. Transformational leaders come across as ones who promote problem-solving approaches to challenges encountered in the workplace. This means that transformational leaders are the ones capable of demonstrating complex epistemological beliefs. The implication is that these leaders do not just possess particular skills and knowledge to act in a defined way, but also consistently demonstrate they can do it given changing circumstances. Transformational leaders, as such, are able to adapt accordingly to ensure that they circumvent challenges and perhaps take the organization forward. Duignan (2012) highlights some of the personal characteristics that effective transformational leadership ought to involve including cultivating intellectual acuity. It must be noted that leadership calls for a high level of psychological acuity as well as discernment to ensure that correct decisions are reached in a rather consistent manner. Indeed, effective early childhood leaders ought to remain disciplined in their minds as well as knowledgeable and rigorous in their techniques of reasoning. This is crucial to instilling confidence among subordinates because of the feeling that those in leadership are capable of doing so. In fact, it means that subordinates, as followers, agree with or share common goals with those in leadership position. The aim of transformational leadership, thus, is to ensure that diverse energies and ideas are harnessed to contribute to the overarching goals. It becomes evident that those involved in early childhood ought to project confidence, optimism, as well as resilience in undertaking their roles. This includes believing as well as acting out of a clear vision, maintaining a constructive outlook in the face of challenges and mistakes by viewing it as an opportunity to learn, showing a sense of optimism, as well as get going when it gets rough.

Discussion of enacting your philosophy of leadership in the workplace

            In enacting the philosophy in the workplace, imagination as well as activism emerges as crucial. Carter and Curtis (2010) note that if someone views themselves as the developer of an organization, their leadership ought to extend past managing the early childhood program. In fact, leadership is will almost inevitably attract stakeholders such as staff as well as families seeking to get involved. Nevertheless, cultivating imagination is crucial to directors’ success similar to the manner in which acquiring necessary skills is. Leadership is all encompassing meaning that leaders often deviate from what they would aspire to do or to be. In fact, with all the roles and responsibilities one needs to accomplish as a director it becomes easy to get consumed by the little details that emerge along the way. The indication is that imagination is crucial to steering an organization around the challenges that emerge along the way. In fact, new energy is often realized when managers attempt to step out of their planned or to do lists, organizing time for challenges or activities that call forth creativity, as well as engage in things that intellectually stimulate them. Equally significant, is the need to involve subordinates as they function as persons working on behalf of transformation both inside and outside the early childhood settings.  Ebbeck and Waniganayake (2004) echo such an approach by referring to childcare administrators in relation to the practical application of management theories. Establishing an efficient information system is crucial to effective administration including accomplishment of such functions as accountability, confidentiality, evaluation, as well as compliance.


            In a conclusion, proper leadership in early childhood remains elusive even as past studies indicate that it is crucial to realization of desired outcomes. This is underlined by the various definitions attempting to describe leadership as well as the way it can be realized. In sum, transformational leadership can be adopted to ensure that positive relationship between different stakeholders involved in early childhood education.


Brownlee, J., Nailon, D., & Tickle, E. (2010) Constructing leadership in child care: Epistomological beliefs and transformational leadership, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35(3). 950104.

Carter, M., &Curtis, D. (2010) The visionary director. St Paul: Redleaf Press.

Duignan, P., (2012). Educational leadership: together creating ethical learning environments (2nd ed). Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.

Ebbeck, M., & Waniganayake, M. (2004), Early childhood professionals: Leading today and tomorrow. Maclennan and Petty, Sydney

Sinclair, A. (2005). Doing leadership differently: gender, power and sexuality in a changing business culture. Australian Institute of Management, Carlton.




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