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ERIC Number: ED459027
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Successful Early Childhood Indigenous Leadership.
Power, Kerith; Roberts, Dianne
The success of the Minimbah Aboriginal Preschool in New South Wales (Australia) is evidenced by happy staff and children, low staff turnover, and the later success of Minimbah's children in mainstream schools. Also, parents were frequently present as helpers and were apparently confident in entering the premises, talking with staff members, and seeking assistance. A key factor in the success of the school has been the leadership of its Aboriginal principal. The principal has encouraged students to aspire to mainstream success through practices of Aboriginal pride and Aboriginal curriculum perspectives, while accommodating the apparent contradictions and political pressures of maintaining this position. Power and responsibility have also been devalued in the hierarchical management structure so that every staff member can exercise choices within his or her role and question the role itself. Responsibility and therefore power are shared. In dealing with the mainstream power structure, the principal avoids direct opposition, but that does not preclude questioning the structures and processes of mainstream organizations that control funding, or exercising strategic power through networks to gain support. Aboriginal "kin" responsibilities are incorporated into the preschool structure so that each kin group is represented within the staff. This seems to insulate the preschool to some degree from any factional fighting taking place in the broader Aboriginal community. Analyzing these dynamics through Foucauldian notions of power, subjection, and resistance seems a useful way to represent some of the shifting and transitory flows of power that make for successful Indigenous leadership in this preschool. (Contains 12 references.) (TD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia