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Educational leaders in New South Wales preschools: how are they leading the development and implementation of the educational program in their settings?
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:10 authored by Kate Barnes
The requirement for a specific educational leader is relatively new to Australian ECEC settings and complexities have been observed regarding the implementation and purpose of the educational leader role. Previous research on the educational leader role has been limited and rarely included the experiences of educational leaders in preschool services. This mixed method study used the theory of practice architecture as a theoretical and analytical framework to investigate who the educational leaders of NSW preschools are, what they do and what supports them. The findings indicated that preschool educational leaders were experienced and educated. They were rewarded by the professional growth of other educators and challenged by limited time and ambiguous information about the educational leader role. Participants’ practices most frequently included casual talks and sharing research and resources and they found support for their role through training and their own research. Small differences were found in aspects of how directors and teacher educational leaders performed the role. Findings from this study show that if educational leaders are to be effective in improving practice in preschool settings more action is required to support educational leaders to lead and ECEC organisations and policy makers to champion educational leadership.