Effective Leadership in Early Childhood: Theory and Behaviors

Leadership exists within context. As presented in the Learning Resources in this module, consideration of context is essential when thinking about both theories of leadership and leadership behaviors. Early childhood settings are complex, dynamic, fluid environments rich with diversity and dependent on human connection. Strong leadership is an essential component of these dynamic contexts, and navigation skills, visionary capacity, and the ability to move a collective forward as a unit are necessary. How one chooses to lead might vary based on factors that include temperament, values, and the challenges that individual situations present. However, leadership should always be grounded in the ethics of the field and guided by theory and effective practice.

In this Discussion, you will consider the leadership theories and behaviors presented in the Learning Resources, critically reflecting on the ones you find personally compelling. As you reflect, consider who you are presently as a leader, who you would like to be as a leader, and what knowledge and skills you need to acquire to support your ongoing development.

To prepare:

  • Examine the major theories of leadership and related behaviors presented in this module’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on an early childhood context with which you are familiar. Within this context, have you observed behaviors that you have found effective?  Ineffective?
  • With the same early childhood context in mind, what theories of leadership and related behaviors do you feel would be most effective? How do these theories and behaviors complement or address what you identified as effective or ineffective?

By Day 4 of Week 1

Post a brief description of two leadership theories or behaviors from the literature presented that you find personally compelling. Include in your post a description of each of the theories or behaviors you selected and an overview of why, in terms of your values and beliefs as an educator, you were drawn to these. Then, provide an example of a situation in an early childhood setting where you experienced the presence or absence of the theories or behaviors you selected. Based on the example you provide, outline how the theories or behaviors were applied or could have been applied in a way that reflected effective leadership.

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