Qualitative shadowing as a research methodology for exploring early childhood leadership in practice

Marit Bøe*, Karin Hognestad, Manjula Waniganayake

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This article explores qualitative shadowing as an interpretivist methodology, and explains how two researchers participating simultaneously in data collection using a video recorder, contextual interviews and video-stimulated recall interviews, conducted a qualitative shadowing study at six early childhood centres in Norway. This paper emerged through the discussion of this experience with another researcher, who had shared interests in early childhood leadership, about the benefits of this research methodology in studying leadership practices in early childhood centres. We argue that qualitative shadowing methodology is a powerful resource that can enrich leadership, learning and development within the early childhood sector. By facilitating reflective engagement between practitioners and researchers through qualitative shadowing, it is possible to enhance the exploration of complex phenomenon such as early childhood leadership practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)605-620
    Number of pages16
    JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • qualitative shadowing
    • early childhood leadership
    • video footage
    • reflective practice


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