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Title: What makes good even better? Excellent EC leadership
Contributor(s): Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid ; Waniganayake, Manjula (author); Hadley, Fay (author)
Publication Date: 2019
DOI: 10.1108/IJEM-01-2018-0032
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Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore sense-making of early childhood (EC) leaders in EC services rated as exceeding/excellent in Australian accreditation. Design/methodology/approach: An interpretivist ontology and social constructivist epistemology informs the study. The conceptual framework uses the concept of sense-making to explore how leaders make sense of the policy frameworks and use these to shape practice. Findings: Previous research identified that many leaders focussed on ensuring staff complied with new policy requirements. In contrast, this study found that these leaders paid more attention to relationships with staff and less to directing compliance. Practical implications: The paper posits high quality service delivery is possible when leaders (in the words of a participant) look after their staff. Originality/value: In Australia, neoliberal discourses have profoundly impacted on recent reforms in the EC sector. Previous research identified the ambiguities inherent in the Australian EC leadership role as leaders and staff grappled with new understandings and practices, and the uncertainties around lines of authority and influence. This paper is the first to explore the understandings of those leaders whose services are assessed to be operating at the highest level of quality.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Educational Management, 33(4), p. 573-586
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0951-354X
Field of Research (FOR): 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930502 Management of Education and Training Systems
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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