The journey of leaders: Planned or unplanned?
Ryan, N. (2010). The journey of leaders: Planned or unplanned? (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4397
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4397
According to Ren-Etta Sullivan (2003) pathways that lead to career progression within the early childhood education sector are unclear. Furthermore it seems that there is a lack of research which underpins leadership theory in the early childhood education sector (Ebbeck Waniganayake, 2004; Rodd, 2006; Scrivens, 2003; Thornton, 2003). Due to the absence of research, early childhood education professionals have not formed clear opinions about leadership (Ren-Etta Sullivan, 2003). This lack of opinion has lead to leadership in early childhood education being under researched, undefined, undervalued and under-represented in dialogue, policy and practice.This study is the investigation of how early childhood education leaders have come to be in positions of leadership. This study explores research that underpins theories of leadership in the early childhood education context. Through exploring the career path of 6 early childhood education leaders, this study gives an insight into the ideas, opinions and explanations of how the participant has come to be in positions of leadership.The overarching research questions of this study are: How do early childhood educational leaders come to be in positions of leadership? What career path have early childhood education leaders taken in order to get to their position of leadership? What experiences do early childhood educational leaders come to leadership positions with? Is there a specific path which early childhood education leaders have taken in order to get into positions of leadership? (Is there a pathway to becoming an early childhood education leader?)Arising from these stories were personal accounts of each participants experiences, professional roles and varied career journeys. Through interviewing the six early childhood education leaders, many other insights into leadership within early childhood education became evident. Early childhood education leadership arena includes many different positions of leadership across a range of early childhood education services and departments. As Rodd (2006) states leadership is shown in different ways and means different things to different people. This study explores current ideas and perspectives about leadership in early childhood education.This study tells the story of how early childhood education has been undervalued and women dominated which has led to different approaches and understanding about leadership and a lack of interest in this area by policymakers and authoritarian figures. In spite of this, strong leaders (and mainly women) have arisen through different pathways. These leaders are likely to view leadership differently and see models of leadership needing to be different for the context of early childhood education.Early childhood education needs good leadership particularly in light of the significant growth and changes within the sector; therefore it is imperative that leadership professional development is provided, and discussions about leadership become part of early childhood contexts.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses