Early childhood leadership through the lens of distributed leadership

Johanna Heikka, Eeva Hujala

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    This study aims to investigate distribution of responsibilities for leadership in early childhood education (ECE) context. It focuses on the enactments of leadership by investigating how ECE stakeholders, e.g. teachers, ECE centre directors and administrative ECE leaders in municipalities perceive the leadership responsibilities. Using focus groups, the data was collected in seven municipalities in Finland. The study was based on contextual and distributed view of leadership. Quality improvement and pedagogical leadership was seen as primary responsibilities in ECE leadership by all studied groups. The study indicated different practices of distribution of responsibilities for leadership. However, it indicated that developed forms of leadership distribution were rarely used. In developing ECE leadership, focusing on interdependencies of leadership enactments between teachers, centre directors and municipal ECE leaders and building structures for interaction between stakeholders, increase the quality of distributed leadership.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)568-580
    Number of pages13
    JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • distributed leadership
    • early childhood education
    • focus group
    • leadership
    • leadership responsibilities


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