'Doing' social justice in early childhood: The potential of leadership

Louise Hard, Frances Press, Megan Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Early childhood education has long been connected with objectives related to social justice. Australian Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) has its roots in philanthropic and educational reform movements prevalent at the turn of the 20th century. More recently, with the introduction of the National Early Childhood Reform Agenda, early childhood education has once more been linked to the achievement of aims associated with redressing inequality and disadvantage. According to Jean-Marie, Normore and Brooks (2009), educational leaders have a moral and social obligation to foster equitable practices through advocating for traditionally marginalised and poorly served students while creating a new social order “...that subverts the long standing system that has privileged certain students while oppressing or neglecting othersâ€� (p.4). Drawing on extant literature, including data from two previously reported Australian studies in which leadership emerged as having a transformational impact on service delivery, this paper examines the potential of early childhood leadership to generate ‘socially just’ educational communities. With reference to critical theory, we argue that critically informed, intentional and strategic organisational leadership can play a pivotal role in creating changed circumstances and opportunities for children and families. Such leadership includes positional and distributed elements, articulation of values and beliefs, and collective action that is mindful and informed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-334
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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