31 Aug Consider your passions in the field of early childhood education, and think about an area of the field where you would like to direct your advocacy efforts. To support you in determi
- Consider your passions in the field of early childhood education, and think about an area of the field where you would like to direct your advocacy efforts. To support you in determining an area of advocacy you would like to pursue, review the websites of the professional organizations listed in the Learning Resources.
8085 Module 1 Assignment:
Early Childhood Education Topics and Professional Organizations: Focus on Leadership
Effective leaders must remain current within the early childhood field. Leaders need to understand changes and opportunities within early childhood education, as well as the influences of and fluctuations within the broader societal context. There are numerous resources available within the field to support leaders in remaining current; however, leaders must have skills in critical analysis, compilation, and networking in order to use these resources most effectively.
Some of the more accessible resources available to leaders within early childhood education are professional, credible websites. Websites can provide current news, research, job opportunities, evidence-based applications, networking opportunities and resources, and information on critical advocacy issues. As a leader, developing knowledge of websites as an essential resource is critical. Skills in processing and sharing information with others are also important aspects of leadership capacity.
This Assignment requires that you begin to explore and develop advocacy topics you are interested in, with the goal of developing an initial advocacy action plan. In Module 4, you will be responsible for developing an advocacy action plan for your Learning Outcomes Plan. As this point in your course, you will explore advocacy topics in which you are developing an interest and begin to develop competencies needed to become an effective advocate.
To complete your Assignment, consider an advocacy topic you are interested in learning more about, carefully reflecting on your interests and passions, and where you would like to devote time and effort to make a difference in the lives of young children, their families, and the field. Consider something you would like to study, a topic about which you would like to connect with others, and where you would like to invest time and effort in order to make a difference.
After selecting your topic, you will use professional websites as a tool to increase knowledge of that topic. Also, you will compile websites and resources, which will allow you the opportunity to build, or add to, your own professional “tool kit” of resources and connections.
This Assignment is designed to support your skills in advocating regarding an issue you are passionate about, as well as your leadership skills in the areas of compiling resources, identifying issues, determining stakeholders, and identifying leadership opportunities.
Professional Organizations and Advocacy
· Consider your passions in the field of early childhood education, (my passion is to become an Early Childhood College Professor) and think about an area of the field where you would like to direct your advocacy efforts. To support you in determining an area of advocacy you would like to pursue, review the websites of the professional organizations listed in the Learning Resources.
· As you review the websites, consider what you would like to know more about, how you would like to support others, and which topics presented seem to fit best with your current passions and professional interests. You may select topics and websites other than those presented. The professional organization websites in the Learning Resources are designed to serve as a guide.
· Select three organizational websites and three resources from one or more of the websites you chose that complement your selected advocacy topic. These resources may include such items as positions statements, articles, videos, etc., providing research, information, and insights that relate to your topic. Your goal in selecting these resources is to provide an overview of your topic, familiarize yourself with advocacy work that has been conducted on the topic, and analyze how the information presented can assist you in working toward your advocacy goals.
To complete this Assignment:
· Provide a brief overview of the advocacy topic you selected and a rationale for your selection. As you develop your overview, consider the following:
· Why is the topic you selected important for young children, families, professionals, and/or the field of early childhood education?
· What draws you to the advocacy topic you have selected?
· Based on the organizational websites you selected (3 total), provide a summary that includes the following:
· A general overview of how the work of the organization complements your advocacy goal
· Opportunities for engagement/collaboration with the organization around your selected advocacy topic
· How becoming involved with the organization might assist you in achieving your advocacy goals
· For each of the resources you selected from one or more of the organizational websites (3 total), provide a summary that includes the following:
· A general overview of information from the resource that relates to your advocacy topic
· Three to five main points that you feel would support your advocacy goals
· A citation
Be sure to cite appropriate references in APA format to substantiate your thinking.
Amanchukwu, R. N., Stanley, G. J., & Ololube, N. P. (2015). A review of leadership theories, principles and styles and their relevance to educational management. Management, 5(1), 6–14. doi:10.5923/j.mm.20150501.02
Beyer, B. (2012). Blending constructs and concepts: Development of emerging theories of organizational leadership and their relationship to leadership practices for social justice. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/contents/[email protected]/Blending-Constructs-and-Concepts
Bloom, P. J. & Abel, M. B. (2015). Expanding the lens—leadership as an organizational asset. Young Children, 70(2), 10–17.
Hallet, E. (2013). We all share a common vision and passion: Early years professionals reflect upon their leadership of practice role. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(3), 312–325. doi:10.1177/1476718X1349088
Hard, L., & Jónsdóttir, A. H. (2013). Leadership is not a dirty word: Exploring and embracing leadership in ECEC. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 21(3), 311–325. doi:10.1080/1350293X.2013.814355
Leeson, C. (2014). The pressures of leading early years services in a changing world. In J. Moyles, J. Payler, & J. Georgeson (Eds.), Early years foundations: Critical issues (2nd ed., pp. 143–154). Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264688756_
Lewis, J., & Hill, J. (2012). What does leadership look like in early childhood settings? Retrieved from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/every-child-magazine/every-child-index/every-child-vol-18-4-2012/leadership-look-like-early-childhood-settings/
McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. (2015, Summer). An international perspective on early childhood leadership. Research Notes. Retrieved from http://mccormickcenter.nl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/RN-Summer-2015.pdf
Muñoz, M., Boulton , P., Johnson, T., & Unal, C. (2015). Leadership development for a changing early childhood landscape. YC Young Children, 70(2), 26–31.
National Policy Board for Educational Administrati
Orr, T., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2015). Appreciative leadership: Supporting education innovation. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(4), 235–240.
on. (2015). Professional standards for educational leaders. Retrieved from http://www.ccsshttps://www.proquest.com/docview/1789785813?accountid=14872&forcedol=trueo.org/Documents/2015/ProfessionalStandardsforEdu
Professional Organization Websites
Save the Children Action Network. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2016, from https://www.savethechildrenactionnetwork.org/
American Educational Research Association. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.aera.net/
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/
Zero to Three. (2016a). Retrieved from http://www.zerotothree.org/
National Association of Elementary School Principals. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.naesp.org/
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/
National Institute for Early Education Research. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.nieer.org/
Harvard Family Research Project. (2016). Early childhood education. Retrieved from http://www.hfrp.org/early-childhood-education
California Department of Education (Producer). (2013). Invitation to leadership in early childhood [Video file]. Retrieved from http://ececompsat.org/competencies/lead/lead.html
Note: This video is part of a series of California ECE competencies
Varhaiskasvatuksen Tiedelehti Journal of Early Childhood Education Research Vol.3, No.1, 2014, 65−81
© 2014 Suomen Varhaiskasvatus ry. – Early Childhood Education Association Finland. Peer-‐review under responsibility of the editorial board of the journal ISSN 2323-‐7414; ISSN-‐L 2323-‐7414 online
Being and Becoming Early Childhood
Leaders: Reflections on Leadership Studies in Early Childhood Education and the Future Leadership Research Agenda
Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia e-‐mail: [email protected]
ABSTRACT: In Australia, educational leadership studies emerged as a core area of study within early childhood bachelor degree courses during the 1990s. This inclusion was supported by findings from newly emerging research on leadership involving early childhood educators. A handful of Australian and Finnish scholars joined researchers based in the USA to actively research leadership focusing on the early childhood sector. In this paper, reflections on what has been achieved over the past two decades in promoting leadership studies in the early childhood sector is analysed as a starting point to evaluate learning and stimulate further discussion on additional work necessary in preparing future leaders. This analysis will be based on exploring key assumptions about distributed leadership models being favoured by policy planners and practitioners. In identifying gaps in our knowledge base, possibilities for further research are presented by drawing on developments in Australia and elsewhere as appropriate.
Keywords: early childhood leadership, leadership research, leadership preparation.
Theorising leadership in early childhood
Leadership is a word used all around the world. Its abstract nature has however meant that there is no single universal definition or agreement on what leadership is and how it can be assessed and understood. Researching leadership is also challenging because it is difficult to identify, quantify or observe, and as Rodd (2013) declares, sometimes,
Waniganayake — Varhaiskasvatuksen Tiedelehti — JECER 3(1) 2014, 65–81. http://jecer.org/fi
“effective leadership is enacted by standing back, saying or doing nothing.” (p. 233). Nevertheless, leadership is often identified as a key element in delivering high quality early childhood programs (Hujala, Waniganayake & Rodd, 2013). In effect, conceptualisations of leadership are best understood when nuanced within the local contexts of enactment.
Writing about leadership within early childhood settings in Australia, Waniganayake, Cheeseman, Fennech, Hadley and Shepherd (2012, p.11) have suggested that when exploring leadership one must take into account the person (the leader), the position (authority to make decisions) and the place (the organisational setting). Which of these three elements are emphasised or prioritised within the daily practice of early childhood leadership is however, highly variable and context specific. This view is encapsulated in the definition of early childhood leadership presented by Nivala (1999 cited in Hujala, 2013, p. 53) as “a socially constructed, situational and interpretive phenomenon.” These Finnish early childhood scholars are pioneer researchers who recognised the importance of context in researching leadership. Their contextual leadership model integrates the structural components of early childhood organisations by drawing attention to the vision, mission, core tasks and responsibilities of early childhood leaders.
This article aims to present critical reflections about the importance of preparing early childhood educators for leadership enactment. Given the increasing complexity of challenges encountered by today’s early childhood educators in the frontline of service delivery, it is imperative that those in leadership roles are well prepared in order to respond effectively to support the education and wellbeing of children and families in their communities. Adopting a contextual approach, pathways to being and becoming leaders in Early Childhood Education (ECE) are examined against a backdrop of developments in Australia and other countries as appropriate.
Changing profile of the early childhood educator
Globally, there is no consensus or clarity on what is expected of ECE graduates at the time of graduation from a three or four year bachelor degree. The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is responsible for the accreditation of course content in this country. The pay and conditions of employing ECE graduates are linked to industrial awards but this system is fragmented due to the involvement of a mix of trade unions with inadequate national coordination. The limited recognition of masters degrees within the current awards is a particular concern as there is no formal approval of the value of undertaking postgraduate studies reflected in the pay scales, leaving it to employers to validate staff achievements through advanced studies. Overall, the absence of a national professional registration system for ECE graduates has also meant that there is no systematic way of assessing the employment expectations of these graduates. In effect, there has been limited movement in addressing issues of public visibility and validation, career pathways linked to formal studies, as well as
Waniganayake — Varhaiskasvatuksen Tiedelehti — JECER 3(1) 2014, 65–81. http://jecer.org/fi
professional registration and licensure, as identified particularly in terms of leadership development nearly two decades ago (Waniganayake, 1998).
The roles and responsibilities of ECE graduates working in childcare centres have varied overtime. About thirty years ago, being a teacher of young children was clearly defined as an autonomous role carried out by an ECE graduate who was responsible for designing and delivering an education program for pre-‐schoolers. In contrast, the contemporary profiles of ECE graduates incorporate education and care responsibilities more explicitly and cover a wider age range of children birth to five years. Government policy, through the National Quality Standard (ACECQA, 2012) and its predecessor, the Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS) in 1993, has reinforced this open profile since the 1990s. The emphasis on working in partnership with families and the wider community and the inclusion of service management and leadership responsibilities (ACECQA, 2012) reflects the expanding roles of ECE graduates, requiring engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. The once clearly defined teacher responsibilities focusing exclusively on the education of young children, has therefore widened in scope with increasing demands from parents, government and other professionals working in different ways with children in early childhood settings.
As reflected in Figure 1, traditionally, in Australia, those graduating with an ECE Diploma or Degree, found employment in a preschool or kindergarten working with children between three to five years age. Since the 1980s however, with the large scale expansion of childcare centres employment opportunities for early childhood graduates emerged in settings catering for children from birth to five years. Traditional preschools or kindergartens offered half-‐day educational programs, and are closed during school holidays. In contrast, childcare centres are open for longer hours, often from 7am to 6pm and remain open for at least 48 weeks of the year in order to obtain government funding.
Waniganayake — Varhaiskasvatuksen Tiedelehti — JECER 3(1) 2014, 65–81. http://jecer.org/fi
Traditional Profile Contemporary Profile
Pre-‐1980s Since the 1990s
FIGURE 1 Changing profile of ECE graduates
Research conducted during the 1990s on exploring workplace responsibilities of early childhood educators is limited. Initial leadership studies conducted by those such as Hayden (1997), Rodd (1998), and Waniganayake, Morda and Kapsalakis (2000) suggested that soon after graduation with little or no work experience in the sector, but as the highest qualified person, ECE graduates were frequently expected to jump into the role of a centre director/manager. Reflecting on these studies now it becomes apparent that unenviable demands were placed on new and inexperienced graduates in managing and leading as a childcare centre director. This situation was exacerbated further for teaching directors of small centres where the director’s responsibilities included regular classroom work with children. Importantly, research by Rosier and Lloyd-‐Smith (1996, p. i) revealed that "low pay and low status relative to high level of responsibility inherent in the job" contributed significantly to staff dissatisfaction and high turnover rates (cited in Waniganayake, 1998, p.111). This pattern was also reflected in other countries such as the USA, where Jorde-‐Bloom (1994) reported on concerns on expecting teacher education graduates to take on broader &#x
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