Original Research

A study of pedagogical leadership plans in early childhood education settings in Finland.

Johanna E. Heikka, Sanni K. Kahila, Katja K. Suhonen
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 10, No 1 | a837 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v10i1.837 | © 2020 Johanna Heikka, Sanni Kahila, Katja Suhonen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2020 | Published: 28 September 2020

About the author(s)

Johanna E. Heikka, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
Sanni K. Kahila, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
Katja K. Suhonen, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland

Abstract

Background: Current research on early childhood education (ECE) leadership as well as on policy reform in Finland suggests that pedagogical leadership must be considered as a purposeful and planned process. Pedagogical leadership plans play a key role in the purposeful and effective enactment of pedagogical leadership in ECE settings.

Aim: This study aimed at examining the contents of pedagogical leadership plans drawn up in Finnish ECE centres to interpret the perceptions of the centre directors on the implementation of pedagogical leadership in their settings.

Setting: This study examines pedagogical leadership plans in ECE settings in Finland.

Methods: We used inductive content analysis to examine documents drawn up by nine ECE centre directors as pedagogical leadership plans for their centres. Our analysis identified four main categories that describe how the ECE centre directors conceive the enactment of pedagogical leadership.

Results: The findings revealed that the focus of the plans was on leading pedagogical issues and processes within the ECE centres. Creating structures for pedagogical development and reflection were emphasised in the plans. The plans reflected a distributed leadership approach.

Conclusion: The findings of the study provide information about how the ECE directors intend to enact pedagogical leadership and assist ECE leaders to develop leadership planning in their work settings. In this way, the study contributes to leadership development within the ECE sector.


Keywords

early childhood education; leadership; pedagogical leadership; leadership plans

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Crossref Citations

1. The tenets of distributed pedagogical leadership in educational contexts—A systematic literature review on perception and practice
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Educational Management Administration & Leadership  first page: 174114322311544  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1177/17411432231154444