As the director of the preschool my aim is to build positive learning experiences and create an inclusive environment for all stakeholders (children, their families, communities, staff and management), promote interaction between children, their families and teachers, set spontaneous activity for effective learning, keep everyone’s best interest in mind, building strong relationship with others while considering others rights, foster student’s mental, physiological and psychological development and commit towards aiming for continuous improvement. To achieve the expected outcome I as the director of the preschool will develop leadership philosophies using professional and ethical knowledge by being aware of my own beliefs, work in accordance with the organisations philosophies, ethical stance and legal obligations to abide while working towards resolving conflict as the basis to build their leadership philosophies.
What are philosophies?
Philosophies are the basis of which every organisation functions are it within the education and care setting or any other organisation. Service philosophies are similar to code of ethics as both are concerned with the values and beliefs which underpin policies, decisions and practices followed in a service. To develop meaningful philosophies it is important to consider the best interest for all the involved stakeholders, consult the shared intentions about the outcomes outlined for students and the services and the way it will operate to support all involved stakeholder helping in creating effective philosophical stance while dealing with leadership philosophies BBC, (2014).
What part do ethics play in developing philosophies?
To set personal or professional philosophies considering ethics plays a vital role as ethics are the underlining values that reflect on an educational settings principles and philosophies. Ethics affect how one leads a good life, respecting and being aware of rights and responsibilities of others, aids in making moral decisions while working in an organisation or while making personal and professional decisions. Ethics provides a moral map and a framework that can be used to find solutions to solve difficult issues while working in a team, through reflecting back on an individual’s cultural and religious beliefs, the situation, political situation of the country to find the best way possible outcome, Referring to professional and personal philosophies, ideology about leadership are all aspects affecting one’s personal and professional philosophies BBC, (2014). To create effective and uniform philosophies educators all around the educational and care sectors in Australia have to follow the code of ethics developed by the government of Australia.
What is Code of ethics?
The first code of ethics was adopted by the early childhood Australia after an extensive national consultation a revised edition was published in 2006. The code of ethics is a framework for reflecting about the ethical responsibilities of an early childhood professional. While the ECA code of ethics was primarily for working with children aged 0-8 years but still can be used for education and care setting outside schools. Respect, integrity, and honesty are all core values which underpinning the code of ethics important for every service and individual working with children and families to be able to respond ethically Northern Territory Government (n.d).
Who is a leader?
The definition of leadership has shifted from referring to the hierarchy level of notions of management to being interdependent and rational while working in a group. Leadership is defined as the relation between individuals working together to achieve a common goal through providing direction and building commitment Waniganayake Manjula, (2017).
Difference between a leader and manager:
The literature draws distinction between leadership and management as in education and care setting where management refers to maintaining functions, process and people while leadership is concerned with empowering and developing others. Managers focus on present day to day goals of a service whereas leaders focus on the future communication a shared vision and inspiring commitment and collaboration. Rodd posits that leadership and management are different yet ‘interwoven dimension’, and that leaders need to be aware of how they interact to practice effective leadership Waniganayake Manjula, (2017). Theoretical framework for early childhood education and care leadership comprises of the five dimensions: management, paedology, advocacy, community and conceptual leadership Kagan and Bowman’s (1997).
What makes an effective leader?
Bloom and Sheerer leaders of ECEC programs are ‘gatekeepers to quality’ at their services.
The Early Childhood Australia Leadership Capability Framework indicates leadership is ‘complex, dynamic and varies from situation and from culture to culture’. An effective leader possess contextual literacy (the ability to recognise and consider the context in which they are operating) as different context require different leadership behaviour, practices, skills, attributes, environment for educators reflect on their leadership paedology as all of these factors influences a leaders philosophy Waniganayake Manjula, (2017).
An effective leader creates a positive organisational culture valuing transparency, motivates the team to ask questions, debate on issue and contribute to each other’s ongoing learning inquiry. Leadership practices include identifying and articulating as collective vision, ensure shared vision, understanding, meaning, goal is effectively communicated and reflected while practicing, monitoring and assess commitment to ongoing professional development, current practices to build learning community, team culture, encourage facilitation between family and community partnership striking balance between leadership and management. To be an effective leader building positive influence, providing continuous support, maintain and aim for continuous improvement for high quality relationship between all stakeholders Waniganayake Manjula, (2017).
Examples of the skills, knowledge and attributes require educational leaders include:
Highly developed communication, interpersonal, critical thinking skills including the ability to critically analyse, challenge accepted practice and ideas, knowledge about theories and a range of approaches, knowledge of professional standards, approved learning frameworks, regulatory standards, effective pedagogical approaches, ability to influence, seek and secure support others, ability to mentor the team and ability to create a culture of learning based on inquiry, action research and reflection are all required skills to be a leader Waniganayake Manjula, (2017).
My leadership styles:
To achieve the deeper understanding of services philosophies and leadership style it is vital for educational leaders to learn more about these leadership styles to offer a deeper understanding of these forms to offer services the best service and guidance possibilities. Throughout the semester I have recognised as being an authoritative (visionary) leader, participative (democratic) leader, while focusing on being an affiliative leader following emotional leadership and transformational leadership to build strong relationship and lead the team while being an effective leader WiseToast, (2018).
As a visionary and participative leader I believe in setting goal of a high standards and sharing the vision with the team to achieve the set goal while guiding them, providing constant guidance, giving educators the space to work, identify and work together as a team to achieve the set goal WiseToast, (2018). While focusing on being an affiliative leader it is important to motivate the followers and leaders to focus on being emotionally intelligent to understand others emotions helps in finding a common path to resolve any conflicts among team members, create a positive working and learning environment for everyone involved guide their team through finding best solutions. Apart from being an emotionally intelligent educational leaders also have to focus on being transformational leaders by adapting the best qualities, share a deeper sense of shared purpose to motivate their team. While other leadership focuses on singular aspects transformational leadership takes a broader view of the issues surrounding leadership and then uses those issues as driving forces for meet overall goals of the organization. In an educational setting using transformational leadership offers the best result as from tapping into emotions of works to offering the compensatory core that is the case for all forms of educational setting to guide from a place of support. However there is a fundamental difference between transformational and emotional leadership as transformational leadership is a rational process rather than an emotional one and so it is important for leaders to balance between being emotional yet professional while working towards the set goal Lynch, (2016)
My philosophies towards leadership:
To be a professional and a competent leader it is important to consider the philosophies and values of an individual and the service. Three most important philosophies needed to consider within the leadership context are what makes me a distinct leader? As a leader, what are my highest values and five words or phrases people would use to describe my leadership style. All of these philosophies towards leadership aid educators to reflect and improve upon their leadership style which further helps in improving the organisation.
What makes me distinct as a leader?
As a leader I have recognised that being resourceful, approachable, visionary, being able to coach, holding high ethics, being fair and transparent while dealing with resolving conflict in a team, encouraging creativity, providing feedback, being inclusive, identifying and acknowledging strengths and capabilities of other educators and students while distributing the task, empowering educators to extend their skills, striking for constant improvement are the main qualities that makes me a distant leader.
As a leader, what are your highest values?
As a leader my highest values are treating everyone equally, give everyone the equal chance to talk, keep the best interest of all the stakeholders, work within the set rules and regulation, fostering a sense of team work within the organisation, solving conflict between staff and aim for constant improvement, behaving ethically, create an inclusive environment for all students regardless of their cultural and religious background for them to succeed and improve their learning.
What are five words or phrases people would use to describe your leadership style?
Five words people would use to describe my leadership would be that I am easy going, fair, visionary, helps in coaching, aims for constant improvement and being highly professional.
Working with NQS to be an effective leader:
To be an effective leader within education setting considering the legal stance NQS area 7 governance and leadership standard 7.1 and standard 7.2 will be implemented at the preschool to govern and support quality service, develop service philosophies, reflect and clarify the roles and responsibilities of every individual, promote positive organisational culture and professional learning aiming for continuous improvement to improve the quality of educational setting by developing and evaluating on own skills, performance with the team to enhance the experience of being an effective leader ACECQA, (2017)
How do you see your philosophies impacting your work within the educational context?
My philosophies are going to impact in a preschool setting as it will help in reflecting on controlling and improving the quality of the preschool, aids in building strong and effective team as being an emotionally aware and considering others feeling will help in building a positive work environment for all educators to set get the best possible outcome for effective management, aid in students learning and helps them in feeling of being and belonging a part of community helping them to make wise decisions as citizen.
How do you see yourself within this leadership position advocating for young children within the role.
Working in an education and care setting as the director of the preschool keeping the students best interest in mind and advocating for students rights is of huge concern so educators regardless of their position and experience should work in accordance with the articles articulated in the rights of the children laid out in the UN rights of conventions and also imply outcome 1 children have a strong sense of identity, outcome 2 children are connected with and contribute to their world, outcome 3 children have a strong sense of wellbeing, outcome 4 children are confident and involved learners and outcome 5 children are effective communicators of the EYLF to build a sense of being and belonging among children aged 0-8 years ACECQA, (2017). Implying UN rights of conversion I will focus on providing students a safe environment, make students aware of their rights, provide everyone equal chance to express their emotions, promote students of all background to work together to promote harmony and understanding of different cultures.
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Dr Kennedy, Anne. (2009, March). Ethics: a part of everyday practice in child care. Putting Children First, the magazine of the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC), 9-11. Retrieved from Early Childhood Australia .
Guide to the National Law and Regulations. (2014, june). Australian children’s educational and care quality authority. Retrieved july 9, 2016, from http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/national-regulations/NQF02%20Guide%20to%20ECS%20Law%20and%20Regs_web.pdf
Kagan, Sharon and Bowman, Barbara (1997) cited in Johanna Heikka and Manjula Waniganayake, ‘Pedagogical leadership from a distributed perspective within the context of early childhood education’, p. 500.
Lynch, M. (2016, August 7). 4 MAJOR TYPES OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP. Retrieved from The Edvocate: http://www.theedadvocate.org/4-major-types-of-educational-leadership/
Northern Territory Government. (n.d.). Code of ethics. Retrieved from TRB: http://www.trb.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/33059/CodeOfEthicsNTteachers.pdf
UNICEF. (2014, November 4). Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved from UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30160.html
Waniganayake Manjula, C. S. (2017). Pedagogical Leadership. In C. S. Waniganayake Manjula, Leadership ebook 2e : Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education (pp. 101-120). Victoria: OUPANZ.