Perceptions of early childhood education professionals on teacher leadership in Finland

Johanna Heikka*, Leena Halttunen, Manjula Waniganayake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated perceptions of early childhood education (ECE) professionals employed at three ECE centres on teacher leadership enactment in Finland. These professionals comprised childcare nurses, teachers and ECE centre directors. Theoretically, the study was anchored on an analysis of teacher leadership and distributed leadership literature comprising research based in early childhood and school education contexts. Findings based on focus groups and interviews with participants suggest that teacher leadership was perceived as a responsibility of ECE pedagogy in Finland. Centre directors were considered remote from daily practice and leadership for pedagogy within the centres was shared with teachers. Teacher leadership was enacted through assessment, planning and ensuring that pedagogy was connected with each centre’s goals. Participants’ perceptions also indicated that centres differed on how support was being provided to teacher leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • early childhood education
  • leadership
  • teacher leadership
  • leadership perceptions
  • team

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