‘Doing’ social justice in early childhood : the potential of leadership

Hard, Louise, Press, Frances, & Gibson, Megan (2013) ‘Doing’ social justice in early childhood : the potential of leadership. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 14(4), pp. 324-334.

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Early childhood education has long been connected with objectives related to social justice. Australian Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) has its roots in philanthropic and educational reform movements prevalent at the turn of the 20th century. More recently, with the introduction of the National Early Childhood Reform Agenda, early childhood education has once more been linked to the achievement of aims associated with redressing inequality and disadvantage. According to Jean-Marie, Normore and Brooks (2009), educational leaders have a moral and social obligation to foster equitable practices through advocating for traditionally marginalised and poorly served students while creating a new social order “...that subverts the long standing system that has privileged certain students while oppressing or neglecting others” (p.4). Drawing on extant literature, including data from two previously reported Australian studies in which leadership emerged as having a transformational impact on service delivery, this paper examines the potential of early childhood leadership to generate ‘socially just’ educational communities. With reference to critical theory, we argue that critically informed, intentional and strategic organisational leadership can play a pivotal role in creating changed circumstances and opportunities for children and families. Such leadership includes positional and distributed elements, articulation of values and beliefs, and collective action that is mindful and informed.

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ID Code: 70536
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Early childhood education, Leadership, Social justice, Critical theory
DOI: 10.2304/ciec.2013.14.4.324
ISSN: 1463-9491
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Symposium Journals Ltd
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2014 03:02
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2014 14:12

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