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Leadership in Early Childhood Education (Essay Sample)


Critically examine effective leadership in Early Childhood Education. Your essay will require you to draw on different applications of the ideas discussed in the module sessions. The essay was a report on effective leardership in early childhood education and it incuded various policies, reserach methodlogy and theory on early childhood education.


Leadership in Early Childhood Education
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Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc76731495 \h 2Leadership Styles in ECE PAGEREF _Toc76731496 \h 3Learner-Centered Leadership PAGEREF _Toc76731497 \h 4Benefits and Disadvantages of Learner-Centered Leadership PAGEREF _Toc76731498 \h 6Pedagogical Leadership in ECE PAGEREF _Toc76731499 \h 8Benefits and Limitations of Pedagogical Leadership PAGEREF _Toc76731500 \h 10Learning-Based Leadership in ECE PAGEREF _Toc76731501 \h 11Benefits and Limitations of Learning-Based Leadership in ECE PAGEREF _Toc76731502 \h 13Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc76731503 \h 14References List PAGEREF _Toc76731504 \h 18
According to Siraj & Hallet (2013), effective leadership is a factor that significantly influences the quality of education at the Early Childhood Level. This level of education is regarded as fundamental to the child, family, society, and educators since it acts as a foundation for the future. Early childhood has been viewed as a core factor in education; therefore, Murray & Clark (2013) believe that although leadership in this period is relatively new, more emphasis should be heaped on the concept. The quality of education can only be achieved under effective leadership. Although the concept has been developed worldwide in countries such as the UK, China, Australia, and others, the conceptual identification of effective leadership varies from each country. According to Palaiologou & Male (2019), effective leadership in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is hinged on implementing quality education programs and curriculum. Enhancing pedagogical quality is a critical component of effective leadership in ECE. The analysis of effective leadership at this education level involves applying a systematic approach that encompasses the qualities of good leadership to ECE. The introduction of effective leadership in ECE is hinged on analyzing several factors affecting existing forms of leadership in the sector. 
Leadership Styles in ECE
According to Chan & Ritchie (2016), there is a lot of debate surrounding the demonstration of effective leadership in Early Childhood Education (ECE). There has been profound research regarding education leadership, but a focus on this level has only begun with researchers aiming to offer a deep and satisfying analysis. Although Palaiologou & Male (2019) believes that the definition of effective leadership at the ECE level is ambiguous, they stress the need for adaptation of these practices in learning institutions. There has been a rapid expansion in the ECE context worldwide, which has caused a shift of focus on integrating effective leadership. This aspect has led to the call for accountability, professionalism in the industry. According to Murray & Clark (2013), this has created a need for skilled and effective leadership in ECE. Various literature reviews showcase the essence of improving quality in education and ECE, and this factor remains an elusive concept. Leadership styles such as Pedagogical leadership, learner centered and learning-centered leadership must be essential to understanding factors such as benefits and limitations of effective leadership. 
Learner-Centered Leadership
Learner-centered leadership was developed from years of amending instructional leadership in schools and notably at ECE. Danzig et al. (2017) believes that philosophical and financial investment in the leadership style and a desire for effectiveness where students are the center of the leadership program is key for effectiveness in the industry. This type of leadership aims to increase student retainment and engagement. Learner-centered leadership focuses its efforts on holding leaders such as principals, teachers, parents, and school directors accountable for children learning and improvement. According to Danzig et al. (2017), this leadership in ECE seeks to become an exercise that provides teaching materials and support, acts as a staff buffer against distractions, and monitors school activity. Learner-centered leadership in ECE is essential since it advocates for creativity among the students by changing their perspectives on old ideas that limit their intuitive nature. The end product of this type of leadership is to bring up both students and teachers as leaders. Applying the concept at an early age in ECE seeks to increase student confidence, creativity, and improvement in academic and cognitive work. The end goal of implementing this type of leadership in lower-level classes changes the focus of leadership from teachers and transfers it to students. This type of leadership is regarded as one of the best ways to acquire life-long independent problem-solving skills. 
The five dimensions of learner-centered leadership can further explain an understanding of this leadership style. 
Source Paquette, & Trudel, 2018.
The first dimension under this leadership framework is the establishment of goals and expectations. It is essential for young learners at ECE to have goals and expectations when growing up.  Learner-centered leadership seeks to create a challenging and positive environment that supports accountability from school leaders and teachers. Paquette & Trudel (2018) believes that inclusion of goals from this aspect affects student outcome, which defines an inclusivity climate. In ECE, creating goals and expectations for students at this age prepares them for the future. Leaders such as teachers and non-teaching faculty need to redirect the nature of their operations to accommodate these two aspects for future development. 
The second dimension looks into strategic resourcing. This aspect represents a fundamental quantity of learner-centered leadership. As per Turani & Bloem (2019), this dimension involves leaders restructuring their existing resources to ensure complete utilization in education. ECE learners need surplus resources for their development, such as educational charts, drawing, and colouring instruments to facilitate their academic and cognitive growth. 
Ensuring quality teaching is the third dimension of learner-centered leadership. Leaders in a school setting using a learner-centered approach increases the quality of education by taking into account student needs, basing the teaching mechanism by placing the learner at the center, offering better quality in maximizing this aspect. For students in ECE and other areas, it is paramount that maximization of their learning experience is a priority. This is achieved by focusing on children's safety, happiness, and health. This aspect brings together shared theory on effective teaching, and that forms a basis for coherent teaching and shifts the attention from instructional leadership to student-based learning. 
Dimension four looks into participating in teacher learning and development. A fundamental aspect of learner-based leadership in ECE calls for professionalism due to the delicate nature of early childhood development. Changing the continuous learning process integrates formal and informal development that fosters professional conduct that facilitates centering ECE students in leadership and learning. This creates passionate and inspired leaders for the children. The last dimension in the analysis of leaders centered on the creation of an orderly and safe environment. According to Danzig et al. (2017), it is fundamental that ECE students feel safe from a physical and psychological aspect.  In this effective leadership aspect, the success of each fundamental dimension is hinged on a reciprocal effect. 
Benefits and Disadvantages of Learner-Centered Leadership
One significant benefit of this leadership approach to ECE is enhancing student creativity and vision. Since the students are at the center of the learning paradigm, more emphasis is given to understanding concepts taught. Students at a tender age, such as in ECE, need active learning to cultivate their understanding and form a foundation. Incorporating this leadership style into the ECE environment, aspects that enhance creativity, such as introducing more learning materials, makes the learning experience accommodating for enhancing creativity. Another benefit of learner-centered leadership in ECE is creating diversity and inclusion. Learner-centered leaders create an enabling environment that promotes value, equality, and diversity (Douglass, 2019). Since this leadership aspect involves a joint effort from the school and the community, it identifies and confronts discrimination among children at the ECE level. This creates a lasting impression among the students and creates a better society. 
Lastly, learner-centered leadership brings improvement in children's skills and communication. This is attributed to the leaders developing a curriculum that fits into the students' learning interests. Children at the ECE level are at the infancy of their development and need to adapt various skills to enhance their knowledge and understanding. This leadership approach fits the necessary educational content to conform to student interests to enable their students to access and develop communication and collaboration skills. Although this leadership style has numerous benefits to the students at the ECE level, some demerits are associated with this leadership style. 
One limitation of this leadership approach in ECE is the generalization aspect of this approach. Each student relates differently to the teaching methods implemented. According to Heikka et al. (2019), leaders who implement this lead...

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