Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care: 'It's Not About Being the Boss'

Hard, Louise M., Tayler, Collette P., & Danby, Susan J. (2004) Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care: 'It's Not About Being the Boss'. In McWilliam, Erica L., Danby, Susan J., & Knight, John (Eds.) Performing educational research : theories, methods and practices. Post Pressed, Flaxton, Qld, pp. 397-408.


The notion of leadership continues to be debated and contested. It involves concepts of power, context and relationships, with many social factors contributing to individual perceptions and understandings of what constitutes “good” leadership. In the field of early childhood education and care (ECEC), the concept of leadership remains relatively under-explored, particularly in relation to birth to age five services. This paper outlines a study investigating how the concept of leadership is understood and enacted by people in the ECEC field in Australia. It explores the contribution of a methodological framework of symbolic interactionism, informed by feminist theories, to the analysis of one case study, which is part of a larger project. The analysis of this case study indicates a tension between leadership at a centre level and leadership for the field in the broader context. The paper concludes that understanding this tension may assist the ECEC field to develop more effectively, and to utilise leadership approaches that will influence positive outcomes at both micro and macro levels.

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ID Code: 9660
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: leadership, early childhood, symbolic interactionalism, feminist, early childhood teachers, case study
ISBN: 1876682612
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Post Pressed
Deposited On: 21 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:05

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