ERIC Number: ED424907
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
What is Leadership? Walking around a Definition. Working Papers.
This working paper examines the meaning of leadership within the context of early childhood education, including the nuances of meaning clinging to the concept from other contexts. The paper begins with a discussion of the denotation of leadership as indicated in the "American Heritage Dictionary": (1) the position or office of a leader; (2) capacity or ability to lead [competencies]; (3) a group of leaders; and (4) guidance, direction. It also considers the definition of a leader, and maintains that there is widespread ambivalence about authority in the field of early childhood education and that many professionals reject concepts of authority in defining leadership out of a commitment to equity. The paper notes that one of the definitions of the verb "to lead" relates to dance and raises a leadership image for further consideration, with leaders and followers moving together toward the future. The paper differentiates transformational and transactional leaders and notes the need for different types of leadership for various purposes or endeavors by organizations. Last, it discusses current knowledge regarding the competencies needed by leaders, including issues related to the knowledge base, competencies, accepting a challenge, and access to leadership roles. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wheelock Coll., Boston, MA. Center for Career Development in Early Care and Education.