Constructing leadership in child care : epistemological beliefs and transformational leadership

Brownlee, Joanne M., Nailon, Di L., & Tickle, Emma L. (2010) Constructing leadership in child care : epistemological beliefs and transformational leadership. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35(3), pp. 95-104.

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Early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Australia are currently a focus of social and economic policy. However, early childhood leadership in Australia is yet to develop a clear identity that will enable the field to develop to its full potential. In this paper we investigate a unique theoretical framework for constructing leadership identity, based on transformational leadership and epistemological beliefs. Using semistructured interviews, 15 childcare directors from a large metropolitan area in Australia were asked to describe their beliefs about knowing in the context of their leadership practices. The findings showed that leaders (n = 5) who espoused predominantly evaluativist beliefs about knowing were more likely to describe transformational leadership behaviours in the context of childcare leadership. A number of leaders held mixed beliefs (n = 9) about knowing and described their leadership practice in ways that reflected both transactional and transformational leadership styles. Finally, one leader described predominantly objectivist epistemological beliefs and transactional beliefs about leadership. These preliminary findings show that there seems to be a relationship between core epistemological beliefs and beliefs about leadership practices and offers a new way to characterise leadership in ECEC in Australia.

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ID Code: 39590
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Leadership, Epistemological beliefs, Transformational leadership, Child care, Beliefs
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Early Childhood Australia
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Deposited On: 21 Jan 2011 00:11
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 01:04

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