Browsing by Subject "pedagogical leadership"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Fonsén, Elina; Ukkonen-Mikkola, Tuulikki (2019)
    Background: In recent years, early childhood education (ECE) has faced many reforms that have led to new requirements for pedagogy. Due to this evolution, there is, in turn, an increasing need to enhance the professional competence of ECE teachers through further training. Purpose: This article examines ECE teachers' interpretations of the changes in their pedagogical thinking during a further training course for ECE teachers in Finland. The aim of this qualitative research was to investigate the professional development that can be related to the further training. The context of the study was an 18-month long ECE teachers' further training course called 'Pedagogy of Early Childhood Education during Changing Practices'. Sample: The study involved 32 ECE teachers participating in the further training course. The data consisted of the written responses of the further training participants in respect of their interpretation of pedagogy. Design and methods: The research was carried out using a participatory action approach. The written data were collected from the teacher participants. Thematic analysis was firstly conducted inductively from the data. In the second phase, content analysis was applied using abductive reasoning. The theory-based content analysis was conducted using pedagogical leadership aspects of the theory of human capital. Results: The features of professional development that were identified were explored through the lens of pedagogical leadership and grouped into four dimensions: increased knowledge, awareness of the quality of previously implemented pedagogy, developmental skills, and ability to make the case for ECE pedagogy. Conclusions: The research identified connections and relationships between the further training and professional development in pedagogical leadership. The significance of and demand for a participatory action research approach to further training for ECE teachers are discussed.
  • Ahtiainen, Raisa; Fonsén, Elina; Kiuru, Laura (2021)
    Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) experienced system-wide changes in legislation, curriculum, and teachers’ and centre leaders’ qualification requirements between 2013 and 2018. Through these changes, the Finnish ECEC follows the global trends shifting the focus of ECEC from care towards education. The data are leaders’ (N = 41) written responses to three open-ended questions in a survey completed in 2018. The analytical framework draws on the models of educational change and human capital of pedagogical leadership. The framework directs focus on leaders’ understanding about and realisation of these new policies in their ECEC centres. Results indicate that leaders have the capacity to interpret and lead the curriculum process. However, to secure the coherence in and quality of ECEC, guidance that is more systematic and instruments (e.g. for development of pedagogy) that support the implementation of the curriculum and its assessment are needed.
  • Heikkinen, Kirsi-Marja; Ahtiainen, Raisa; Fonsén, Elina (2022)
    This article investigates early childhood education and care (ECEC) leadership through the concept of community of practice (COP). The focus is on ECEC leaders’ perceptions regarding their leadership during the educational changes taking place in the context of Finnish ECEC. The purpose is to increase understanding of how leaders see themselves in relation to the ECEC multiprofessional working community and practices of distributed leadership. The data are five focus group interviews of ECEC leaders analyzed with directed content analysis within the theoretical frame of domain, practice, and community forming the core of COP in Lave and Wenger. The results show how all three COP components comprise several dimensions in ECEC leaders’ perceptions of their leadership. For example, the component of the leadership domain consists of ECEC values, ECEC legislation, and ECEC curriculum. The results indicate that a formal leadership role is essential in leading the community and its vision. Moreover, building flexible leadership structures and supporting multiprofessional cooperation in the community augment leadership as a community’s joint enterprise