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Paper Topic:

Leadership Theories Applicable to Early Childhood Educational Settings


There are many theories of leadership applied in early childhood educational settings , some more appropriate than others . This essay outlines the transformational theory of leadership justifying why it is appropriate to use in educational settings and discussing issues including what impact the application of the transformational theory of leadership will have on children and staff . The refers to management and leadership and to recent peer-reviewed journal articles and published research in to discuss transformational leadership

In Transformational Leadership (2000 ) Dr John Hinchcliff states

that the word transformation itself means to make a difference . He says that this all means that our approach to dilemmas requires that we encourage ourselves to learn to see things in different ways . We must learn new ways of thinking to solve new problems . Einstein said "We will not use the same thinking to solve the problem that we used to create the problem " Therefore an outline of Transformational Leadership in education is that leaders must make a difference , and that the current problems in education can 't be solved by using age old methods - change is required . Leaders recognize that organizations must continually adapt to meet changing needs and circumstance . The astute leader will anticipate and see opportunities for change instead of sticking to a situation that no longer works (Humphries and Senden , 2000 . This is why it is the appropriate theory to use in educational settings particularly in Australian education

Australian Early Childhood Education Settings cater for children from six weeks until eight years of age and encompass childcare centres preschool and primary school environments . Leadership in educational settings is a crowded and busy terrain (Gunter , 2001 . What effects flow from quality leadership , such as staff retention , to quality child care and what impacts do these have on children , parents , staff and the wider community

The use of transformational leadership in the field of childcare would greatly assist in the reduction of staff turnover . Turnover contributes to poor-quality services for children and families , and can have serious deleterious effects on children 's development and adjustment Hale-Jincks , Knopf and Kempl , 2006 , state this in their publication Tackling Teacher Turnover in Childcare : Understanding Causes and Consequences , identifying solutions . The article likens the impact of teacher turnover on children to that of divorce , and states that effects on children are very detrimental

Hale-Jincks , Knopf and Kempl go on to recommend the following or leadership transformations : Enhance administrative support , effective communication , match caregivers to desired teaching assignments , staff rooms equipped with comfortable furniture and entertainment and increasing caregiver compensation programs . Other interventions are also appropriate

Child care workers should have opportunities to move up the career ladder and should have chance to increase training - leaders should make this more accessible (Hale-Jincks , Knopf and Kempl , 2006 . The transformational leader would make training easily accessible to his staff , in the knowledge that the better trained the staff member is , the better impact that staff member would have upon children and...

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