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Leadership : Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education - Manjula Waniganayake


Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education


Published: 28th September 2012
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RRP $72.95

Leadership is an essential resource that informs day-to-day pedagogy and management of early childhood organisations. Based on the authors’ professional development and research-based activities in a variety of locations including metropolitan, rural and remote regions in Australia, the book draws on established professional networks to capture diverse images and experiences of early childhood leaders.

Leadership: Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education is in two parts. The first provides an orientation to the various contextual dimensions of early childhood leadership. These chapters are focused on ‘big picture’ issues that give shape to early childhood leadership, and include discussion of early childhood policy, legislative frameworks, quality standards, advocacy, governance and pedagogy. Part two deals with the application of leadership within an early childhood setting. These chapters address perennial areas of importance including the development of sound relationships with families, engagement with community, and the creation of effective workplaces, as well as focus on other relatively new leadership dimensions: social entrepreneurialship, professional judgment and succession planning.

Key features:

  • Practitioner voices through out reflect diversity across gender, culture, age and expertise of those working in a range of early childhood contexts.
  • Includes latest policy guidelines for early childhood education and features relevant discussion about social entrepreneurship.
  • To actively involve the reader ‘Reflections in practice’ are presented throughout each chapter. These reflective points capture the duality of thinking and doing, an important learning and teaching strategy for readers of this book and will be useful to unpack with a peer and/or as a team.

About the Authors

Manjula Waniganayake is an associate professor at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University. She is a specialist in early childhood leadership, quality assurance and policy analysis work. Sandra Cheeseman is a lecturer in social policy, management and leadership at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University.l Marianne Fenech is an Australian Research Council postdoctoral research fellow based at the Children and Families Research Centre, Macquarie University.

Fay Hadley is a lecturer at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University with a major focus on early childhood management and practicum studies. Wendy Shepherd is the Director of the Mia Mia Child and Family Study Centre has more than twenty years of experience in leading early childhood programs. She has consistently contributed to early childhood policy reform as an invited member of key government advisory committees.


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great textbook


from sunshine coast Qld

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  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Understand
  • Informative
  • Inspirational
  • Relevant
  • Well Written


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    • Great Resource
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    Comments about Leadership:

    Great textbook for early childhood education, would also be a great resource for leaders in the early childhood field. Whish my director had read it.

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    1. Conceptualising Early Childhood Leadership
    Contexts of early childhood leadership
    What do we know about early childhood leadership?
    Theorising early childhood leadership
    Elements of leadership activity
    Intentional leadership
    Pivotal role of leadership in early childhood settings
    Leadership and ethics

    2. The Australian Policy Context
    Why do I need to know about politics?
    What is policy?
    The Australian context
    Government in Australia
    Creating policy from legislation
    Policy in the early childhood context
    Early childhood settings
    Why are governments involved in early childhood?
    Australian government involvement in early childhood provision
    The Australian government’s reform agenda for early childhood

    3. Leading for Quality
    Quality early childhood education
    Overview of legal, regulatory and professional accountabilities for early childhood settings
    The national quality framework
    Quality from whose perspective?
    Professional judgment and professional autonomy: essential tools in an intentional leader’s repertoire

    4. Governance and Management Structures
    What is governance?
    Global contexts of governance
    Early childhood management structures
    Governance roles and responsibilities in early childhood
    Style of governance
    Role of local government in early childhood settings
    Governance and human rights
    Bringing together management structures and governance

    5. Strategic Planning and Development
    The many faces of organisational planning
    The leader’s role in organisational planning and development
    Strategic organisational development
    Getting started—guiding beliefs and values
    Developing an organisational vision
    Gathering data
    Including the voices of children
    Collating and analysing the data
    Identifying the goals, outcomes or key result areas
    Developing strategies—getting everyone on board
    Keeping the plan alive
    Making mistakes and changing direction

    6. Pedagogical Leadership
    Now is the time
    The importance of philosophy in pedagogical leadership
    Creating a vision
    How can I lead a team to facilitate better learning outcomes for children?
    Getting started 99
    What else can I do?

    7. Leading Intentionally through Advocacy and Activism
    The case for advocacy and activism
    Exploring advocacy and activism: Two types of influence
    Starting points for advocacy and activism
    Levels of advocacy and activism
    Leading intentionally through advocacy and activism
    A final word

    8. Power, Professional Judgment and Ethical Practice
    Intentional leadership as credible and ethical
    Power and relationships with children
    Power and relationships with families
    Power and staff relationships
    Power and relationship with the governing body and regulatory authorities

    9. Effective Workplaces
    Creating an ethical workplace
    Approaches to working with staff
    Building a centre team
    Mentoring as a leadership strategy
    Staff policies and procedures
    Recruitment, retention and professional learning
    Building the organisational culture and ethos

    10. Relationships with Families
    What does building relationships mean?
    Respectful, authentic and professional relationships
    Diversity within relationships
    Collaboration and decision-making processes
    Professional boundaries
    Online communication

    11. Community Engagement
    What is community engagement?
    Involving families, staff and the community
    Working with families and agencies in integrated ways
    Networking within the sector
    Networking beyond the sector
    Working with the media
    The leader’s role in building connections with the community

    12. Money Matters
    The early childhood organisation as a small business enterprise
    Basic accounting language, principles and processes
    Linking legislative and financial accountabilities
    Understanding income and expenditure cycles
    Maintaining a healthy bottom line
    Avoiding pitfalls and managing risks
    Windows of opportunities
    13. Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing
    What is social entrepreneurship?
    Why do early childhood leaders need marketing skills?
    What is marketing and how does the leader use social entrepreneurship as a framework?
    Public relations
    Funding proposals

    14. Professional Growth and Career Planning
    Being and becoming leaders
    Understanding continuing professional growth
    Why is professional learning necessary?
    Professional learning and support strategies
    Career pathways in early childhood
    Leadership specialisations
    Novice educators and induction to the profession
    Succession planning

    ISBN: 9780195576139
    ISBN-10: 0195576136
    Audience: Tertiary; University or College
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 262
    Published: 28th September 2012
    Publisher: Oxford University Press Australia
    Country of Publication: AU
    Dimensions (cm): 24.5 x 19.1  x 1.6
    Weight (kg): 0.612