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Title: Working as early childhood centre directors and deputies – perspectives from Australia, Finland and Norway
Contributor(s): Halttunen, Leena (author); Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid ; Waniganayake, Manjula (author); Hadley, Fay (author); Boe, Marit (author); Hognestad, Karin (author); Heikka, Johanna (author)
Publication Date: 2019
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.3224/8474219918
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Abstract: This research is based in early childhood centres in Australia, Finland and Norway, considered the leadership work of centre Directors and Deputy Directors. Theoretically, this study is situated within the global landscape of neoliberalism that Sims (2017) describes as forcing the reshaping of early childhood policy in numerous OECD countries. Essentially qualitative in design, this exploratory study uses data gathered via a short background survey questionnaire, content analysis of job description statements, and a follow up interview with each participant. Findings indicate that there are differences within and across the three countries in the way these jobs are structured. It appears that the expectations of each role and how participants engage in leadership are framed by their centre contexts. In Australia, leaders of centres achieving an excellent quality rating tend to focus on relationship work when making leadership decisions. In Finland, Directors and Deputy Directors are expected to collaborate as partners when overseeing the work of 2-3 centres and other services. In Norway, there has been a redistribution of work where Deputy Directors have a co-responsibility in leadership enactment. When taken together, these findings illuminate new insights on how Directors experience leadership when Deputies are part of the leadership team in early childhood settings.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Leadership in Early Education in Times of Change: Research from five continents, p. 231-252
Publisher: Verlag Barbara Budrich
Place of Publication: Opladen, Germany
ISBN: 9783847421993
Field of Research (FOR): 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
Series Name: International Leadership Research Forum Early Education (ILRFEC)
Series Number : 3
Description: This book is available to download under a CC licence from (
Editor: Editor(s): Petra Strehmel, Johanna Heikka, Eeva Hujala, Jillian Rodd and Manjula Waniganayake
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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