Date of Award
Master of Arts in Education
Early Childhood Education
Mary Laing Kingston
early childhood education, leadership training, educational leadership
Due to the limited amount of research available in early childhood leadership, research from the public school settings will be introduced as well. The importance of identifying and training teachers for leadership roles in early childhood is necessary to continue high-quality programs and retain teachers. Research in mentoring, coaching, and business leadership strategies will provide a closer look at the need to "grow" leaders within early childhood programs themselves. Rodd (1999) attributed the fact that little research being conducted on leadership in early childhood was due to an abundance of women in the field. He discusses the difference in leadership styles used by women vs. men and hypothesized that women saw less of a need for leadership roles in early childhood. This premise has been refuted by Evetts (1994) and Coleman (2001). Notably though, Coleman (2004) surveyed headteachers in the United Kingdom by having them select gender-related words regarding their own leadership styles. Overall choices were similar in chosen descriptors for both men and women, choosing terms such as supportive, collaborative, open, and consultative. The only interesting differences were that men were less likely to say they were disciplined and intuitive and more likely to say they were informal. Females were less likely to say they were competitive and objective.
Leadership in early childhood education and some inherent complicating factors within the field will be examined. And finally, the research has been used to develop a guide as a tool to assist supervisors/directors on coaching and mentoring budding leaders within their programs. This guide comes in the form of a 40 page booklet that will assist directors in beginning to assess their own leadership strengths and areas of growth, reflect on experiences, identify needs and desires in areas of leadership. This process will ultimately assist directors in working with a mentee and help guide mentees through a similar process. Authentic experiences have been noted as critical components of mentor-mentee experiences (DePree, 2004). The guide provides some strategies and samples of areas to begin exploration authentic experience within the early childhood program.
”The Beginners' Guide for Directors to Identify, Coach, and Mentor Potential Leaders in Early Childhood Education” is not a step-by-step manual, but a tool to assist directors in thinking about ways to extend learning within their programs to grow leaders from within.
Recommended CitationAdams-Leonard, N. (2007). Changing Leadership From Within: A Look at Directors' Leadership Role in Early Childhood Education (Thesis, Concordia University, St. Paul). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.csp.edu/legacy-capstones_maed/257
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