Opening up communicative spaces 'quality practices' in early childhood education through middle leadership

Karin Ronnerman, Christine Edwards-Groves, Peter Grootenboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Professional learning communities (PLCs) are often established and organised through collaboration among teachers, with one teacher having the role of facilitator. Such communities are widely recognised as important for facilitating both teacher and student learning. However, less is known about the leadership practices and the nature of the communicative spaces for learning as part of a PLC. The case study presented here focused on a district in Sweden involving 14 early childhood teachers who led their colleagues in implementing the revised curriculum for early childhood education (Lpfö-98). In this case, the leadership practices resembled a shared form of activity, which recognises that leading peers in learning-focused professional activities require what we describe as ‘middle leadership’. Data was collected in the form of field notes and recordings of participants’ dialogue in meetings involving middle leaders as they discussed their work; the dialogue was analysed through the lens of the theory of practice architectures. The results show the nature of communicative spaces as mechanisms for enabling teachers to engage in learning-focused meaning-making activities connected to systematic quality work. The results also reveal the practices and practice architectures that enabled the middle leader to conduct the work of leading the development of his or her colleagues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalNordSTEP: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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