Being and Becoming Early Childhood Leaders: Reflections on Leadership Studies in Early Childhood Education and the Future Leadership Research Agenda


  • Manjula Waniganayake Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


early childhood leadership, leadership research, leadership preparation


In Australia, educational leadership studies emerged as a core area of study within early childhood bachelor degree courses during the 1990s. This inclusion was supported by findings from newly emerging research on leadership involving early childhood educators. A handful of Australian and Finnish scholars joined researchers based in the USA to actively research leadership focusing on the early childhood sector. In this paper, reflections on what has been achieved over the past two decades in promoting leadership studies in the early childhood sector is analysed as a starting point to evaluate learning and stimulate further discussion on additional work necessary in preparing future leaders. This analysis will be based on exploring key assumptions about distributed leadership models being favoured by policy planners and practitioners. In identifying gaps in our knowledge base, possibilities for further research are presented by drawing on developments in Australia and elsewhere as appropriate.






Peer-reviewed articles