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"The primary role of the constructivist leader is to lead the conversation" (Lambert et al. 2002, p. 64).

TOPIC"Leadership Style and issues" and "Staffing" in Early Childhood Education Environment
Presented by Jamie Barroso, Sandy Hon, Yuko Shimomura & Cindy Zheng

Our purpose

In order to enhance the working environment as a leader or staff following the leadership, we provide useful resources and consider how we work as a effective team, how we can create a strong relationship to foster children's learning with ethical perspective.

Leading Effective Teams
Image by: Dominici.D.C(2012)
"both aspiring and existing managers have the necessary skills to build and lead effective and productive teams." (Motive 8, 2011)


  • Ash, M. (1984). Mary Kay on People Management. New York, N.Y. : A Warner Communications Company.
  • Klinvex, P., C., Klinvex, C., K., & O’Connell, S., M. (1999). Hiring Great People. USA: The McGraw-Hill Companis, Inc.
  • Marotz, Lynn R. & Lawson, Amy (2007). Motivational Leadership in Early Childhood Education. Clifton Park: Thomson Delmar Learning
  • Rosenberg, M.B.(2003). Nonviolent communication. A language of life. 2nd ed. CA. PuddleDancer Press Book.
  • Sharp, I. (2010). Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (2009)


Video Files:
Academic Articles:
  • Sumsion, J. (2007). Sustaining the Employment of Early Childhood Teachers in Long Day Care:
    A case for robust hope, critical imagination and critical action, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 35(3), 311-327.


Case Study:

  • Results of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Staffing Survey: October/November 2007

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Who is Employer in ECE Sector? What are their tasks?

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Click here to view the pdf file: Supporting Employers in Canada's ECEC sectors

In this document (p.10-12), you will see:
Definition of Employer

The Canada Labour Code defines employer as follows:
  1. any person who employs one or more employees
  2. in respect of a dependent contractor, such person as, in the opinion of the Board, has a relationship with the dependent contractor to such extent that the arrangement that governs the performance of services by the dependent contractor for that person can be the subject of collective bargaining.

Goal (p.11)
One of the key goals of the Supporting Employers in Early Childhood Education and Care Project was to determine the HR needs and issues facing the ECEC sector from the employers perspective, with the purpose of developing HR tools, the “employers" of interest for this study were not always the legal employers.

The role of employer/administrator in ECEC (p.11)
  1. Recruits Staff: includes determining staffing needs, advertising for staff, interviewing/screening prospective staff, hiring staff and orienting staff.
  2. Manages Staff: includes motivating staff, supervising staff, evaluating staff, supporting and addressing staff behaviour, maintaining staff records, and conducting staff meetings.
  3. Manages Professional Development (PD): includes determining PD needs, identifying PD opportunities, and providing for PD opportunities.
  4. Manages Labour Relations: includes following employment standards, establishing and implementing working conditions, and managing problem solving and conflict resolution.
  5. Manages External Human Resources (e.g. students, volunteers, consultants, families): includes determining requirements for external HR, screening and engaging external HR, orienting external HR, monitoring external HR.
The role of administration only defined and opened for public since only 2006 (CCHRCS, 2008). In other word, the public hadn’t seen this position as important as other jobs. In order to enhance the quality of care and education for young children, it is crucial for people who involve with this sector to understand fully in the task and responsibilities. Staffing is one of the most important aspects in decision-making process, thus knowing how to manage in employment situation is significant.

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Who inspires you as a leader?

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Mary Kay on People Management People_Management.jpg

This book is a guide to “Golden Rule Management" written by Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, one of the most successful businesses in the US. Her success was no coincidence; in fact, it was for her strong will, unique determination, and her special management approach based on the age-old Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In this book, Mary Kay had listed many different techniques and rules on “how to" use the right way to manage people which covers and includes “hiring, firing, motivating, maximizing productivity, solving problems, reprimanding, and more".
  • “Golden Rule Management"
  • “You Build with People"
  • “The Invisible Sign"
  • “Praise People to Success"
  • “The Art of Listening"
  • “Sandwich Every Bit of Criticism between Two Heavy Layers of Praise"
  • “Be a Follow –Through Person"
  • “Enthusiasm…Moves Mountains!"
  • “The Speed of the Leader is the Speed of the Gang"
  • “People will Support that which they Help to Create"
  • “An Open-Door Philosophy"
  • “Help Other People Get What They want and You’ll Get What You Want"
  • “Stick to Your Principles"
  • “A Matter of Pride"
  • “You Can’t Rest on Your Laurels"
  • “Be a Risk-Taker"
  • “Work and Enjoy It"
  • I_love_my_job.jpg“Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something!"
  • “Never Hide behind Policy or Pomposity"
  • “Be a Problem-Solver"
  • “Less Stress"
  • “Develop People from Within"
  • “Live by the Golden Rule on and off the Job"

Highlighted Quotes“Because Mary Kay was confident that the true assets of her company were its people, she made their happiness, needs, desires, and feelings her top priority"
“…She proves how great the rewards can be when you realize that P & L not only means profit and lose" it also stands for “people and love"
“Making people feel important is precisely what a manager is paid for" because making people feel important motivates them to do better work" (p.17)
“Some of the most successful people managers are also the best listeners" (p.29).
Mary Kay’s approaches and strategies were meaningful and helpful for people who are required to manage other people in a company. As it involves with people and people interactions, skillful communication and attentive listening are vital. Mary Kay had successfully managed her business by acknowledging her people, her staffs around her in creating “we are a people company" (p. 11). In one of the childcare that I used to work, I do not feel that sense of pride or belonging as I do not feel that my voice is heard. To me, I think our management team pays more attentions on the business side since profitability is more important. They are the “people" person when it comes to dealing with the parents and families but they would not take our words into consideration.

For example, as our staffs were having concerns about the lunches that one child brings to the childcare, we had discussed with the manager about talking to the parents and suggesting them to bring different variety of food as the child would only be bringing McDonald everyday or snacks like chips and cookies for lunch. However, the manager did not listen to us but instead, told us that the families are the most important people in the company and that we should not judge them in what they bring in from home. In this incident, we felt that we were not being respected and that our concerns do not mean anything to the manager.
Throughout Mary Kay’s book, her focus was on how to refine people skills so that a successful working environment will be created where “everyone at every level, in every position was treated with the same fairness and consideration". I wonder how many people can actually follow her suggestions in making their business more successful where the employer and employees can be open, connected, and happy.

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Who inspires you as a leader? No.2

ddddddddResource 3ddddddddFour Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy: Leadership Style & Team Building
Isadore Sharp is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. This article is an interview about his new book “Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy". Their business model is based on the four pillars: quality, service, culture and brand. The company excels in the relationship building business with both external and internal customers (employees). The philosophy, the Credo and the Golden Rule that are set by Isadore and his team create a brand new company culture. It eventually brings the company among the elite rank in the hotel and resort industry.

Highlighted Quotes
  • “So we focused on what this business is all about: People serving other people when they are away from house and home"
  • “If we could create an environment that would give employees a sense of purpose and meaning to their job. So the job would not just represent their daily bread. So that idea, of creating a corporate culture that would in fact give people a sense of purpose that they could believe in and work towards, was using the Golden Rule as a simple statement and commitment"
  • “There was a very difficult time for the company because some very qualified, competent people didn’t act in a way that would give others the opportunity to rise to their best selves. It was not about command and control, but acting as a coach. That took a long time, to understand that it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. Building that culture into the company was all based upon an ethical credo"

Both hotel business and early childhood field involve with a lot of relationship building. Similar to Isadore’s hotel management theory of "people serving people when they are away from home", in our field, we provide multi-skills development for children who are away from home when their parents are at work. Therefore, I believed the Four Seasons's way of culture building is applicable to our centers too.

Instead of the many policies and procedures to follow, I think having a credo that guides all the employees' actions in order to achieve the desired objectives is a good idea. The credo should state our purposes, for example:

Example 1:We are not just a day care worker, but we are EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR.
Example 2:We enrich children's life with love and patience.

Example 3:We develop children's social skills, fine and gross motor skills, language skills and problem solving skills through daily interactions.

The idea of having the company superior to act as coach rather than supervisor would work perfectly in our field. As everyone in the team should share the same responsibilities and duties, everyone should be given an opportunity to initiate, to problem solve, to take lead because each and every one of us are unique individuals who deserve a chance to shine.

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How do leaders influence staff action?

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"People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it"
- Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek uses the examples of Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers as examples of great leaders who inspire action. What makes these leaders so special? I found this video to be simple in it message yet profound in its delivery. I felt that Sinek was able to articulate into words feelings about leadership that I could not quite describe myself. The principles of “The Golden Circle” idea that he describes (Why, How and What) can be used by child care administrators. I recently accepted a new job at a preschool for next September. I did not take this job for the benefits, wage or hours (the what you do); I took the job because I bought into the vision of the program and teachers (the why they do it).

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
- Simon Sinek

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How can Leaders motivate their staff?

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Book: Motivational Leadership in Early Childhood Education by Lynn R. Marotz & Amy Lawson AbstractMotivational Leadership in Early Childhood Education is about how child care administrators can use the principles of motivational theory in order to encourage their staff’s “creativity, productivity, and long-term commitment to an organization” (Marotz & Lawson, 2007). They discuss several theoretical models of motivation: 1) Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy “Identifies five levels of fundamental needs: physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self-actualization”

2) ERG Theory “Groups human motivational needs into 3 categories:
  1. Existence – essential physiological and safety needs
  2. Relatedness – the need for social interaction and relationships
  3. Growth – the internal drive to achieve positive self-esteem and recognition

3) Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
“Describes two basic categories of motivators: those associated with one’s job responsibilities and those related to working conditions (e.g., policies, facilities).

4) McClleland’s Theory of Learned Needs
“Attributes motivation to the satisfaction of human desires for achievement, affiliation, and power or control. He believed these needs are learned through experience and socialization

5) The Expectancy Theory
“Acknowledges that people expect their efforts to be recognized and rewarded; when this is lacking, people develop apathy toward their work”

6) Equity Theory
“Recognizes that employees expect to be treated fairly”
(Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 44 – 45).

Highlighted Quotes
“Leaders must be motivated themselves, before they can successfully motivate others”
(Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 69).

What role does motivation play in the early childhood workplace?
“Motivation is clearly important to a program’s success. It can increase recruitment success, improve retention rates, help assure high staff productivity, and boost morale. The opposite is also true. Programs that fail to create a positive work environment or address their employees’ needs are unlikely to experience lasting success” (Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 43)

Strategies to Practice Random Acts of Kindness
The following activities are simple and inexpensive ways to practice random acts of kindness and celebrate each other throughout the year:
  • Place fresh flowers in the break room for a cheery surprise
  • Order pizza on “fish stick” day!
  • Order, or make your own, healthy fruit smoothies to celebrate a team accomplishment
  • Potluck luncheons are a fun way to spend social time together
  • Arrange for a massage therapist to provide chair massages in a quiet area of the center
(Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 95 - 96)

“Motivational leaders distinguish themselves from ordinary leaders by their ability to connect with employees and influence their behaviour. They inspire performance by acknowledging employees’ efforts and contributions, regardless of their significance” (Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 67).

“Motivational leaders willingly invest time and effort in getting to know individual employee’s capabilities, limitations, work styles, needs, backgrounds, and comfort levels. They achieve a collaborative spirit by building on individual strengths, encouraging creativitiy, welcoming employee input, providing constructive feedback and leading by positive example. Successful leaders maintain open lines of communication and are available for consultation and assistance. They also recognize that employees are in various stages of their professional careers, and so they modify the nature and intensity of their guidance accordingly” (Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 67).

“Throughout trials and tribulations, leaders who believe in and practice a motivational leadership style will serve as an inspiration to others. They will be effective in recruiting and retaining quality teachers and help to achieve greater recognition and stronger communities for early education. They will be able to foster teachers’ personal and professional growth and energize the early childhood educators who ultimately make a difference in young children’s lives” (Marotz & Lawson, 2007, pg. 142)

Marotz & Lawson wrote a resource book for child care administrators that deeply considers the relationship between theory and practice. As Early Childhood Educators, we cannot practice effectively unless we have a strongly rooted theory/philosophy. This very much also applies to child care administrators. They may do things at work (practice) without knowing why (theory) they are doing it. For instance, a child care administrator may recognize and reward their employees because they want them to feel good; they may not be aware that they are acting in accordance with the Expectancy Theory of motivational leadership. This book can child care administrators bridge the gap between theory and practice and make their actions more transparent and intentional.

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How do leaders find employee?

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Hiring Great People

In this book, it focuses on what to look for when hiring and how to find the right people for the job. Some important aspects are job descriptions, screening process, interview procedures, candidate assessment and background check guidelines. It covers the hiring process from the beginning to the end. In order to find the right people for the job, the first and important step is a good job description. It “can serve as the basis for developing structured selection tools that will help you [the company] identify the best candidate" (p.3).

A competency-based job description is recommended in this book. As a student of early childhood education, I think there are some critical and flexible competencies. For critical criteria, being able to adapt to changes, working as a team, effective communication skills with others and being passionate about the job are important. For flexible competencies, the “high desired qualifications" from the SFU Childcare Society job posting is a good example. It states the preferred requirements for the job but not necessary be possessed by the potential candidates. It clearly “let employees know exactly what they were expected to do on the job" (p.2). From the directors to the front line employees, each position in the center should have different sets of competencies. These competencies for each position can be the guidelines for existing employees to explore career options within the center. By understanding what the employers and company are looking for and what the candidates' qualifications are, it will be beneficial for both parties in creating the best working environment.

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What type of people would you like to hire?

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In order to create a successful workforce, knowing what type of people would contribute the most in an organization is significant. The most hirable people are often engaged with the organization’s goal, and at the same time, the organization also understands the individual’s values and goals. By all means, if both the organization and its individuals feel satisfaction in their own way by communicating knowledge of the best way to perform to meet their needs, the organization will succeed. In this video, you will see 5 different types of people found in a work environment. When you understand what type of people would contribute more than others, and what a leader should provide in order for these individuals to thrive in their work environment, the whole organization will create a strong and successful team. In other words, a well-built engagement workforce will make the organization grow.

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What are the staffing issues and concerns?

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First Call:http://www.firstcallbc.org/
BC Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition is a cross-sectoral, non-partisan coalition. Our coalition is made up of 90 provincial organizations and 25 mobilized communities. In addition, we have a network of hundreds of community groups and individuals.

Survey: (First call, 2007, p.1)
The survey was designed to be short, succinct and easy to access. The survey was sent to 430 people on the First Call ECD e-mail distribution list. This distribution list goes to a broad range of community agencies and services, as well as child and family serving agencies.

Issues addressed in survey: (First call, 2007, p.1)
• A lack of availability of qualified ECE staff.
• Concerns about the recruitment and retention of ECE staff.
• Concerns about the amount of professional development dollars allocated to ECE by the Ministry for Children and Family Development.

Click here to view the survey: Results of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Staffing Survey: October/November 2007

In this survey, 9 questions were asked to review what issues could be seen in terms of hiring and staffing in the ECE field. This is also an internet-based survey. They revealed how devastated the staff had become because of the poor condition of the system. For instance, these current problems are inadequate government funding, community gaps, and wage and qualification issues, etc. This information is also vital for leaders to be aware of what type of issues exists in staffing so that they could use the knowledge for the future advocacy. To make this field more efficient and universal, not only to focus on staffing issue, but to consider what we could do to change can be significant. Staffing issues are in a critical condition because of a lack of educators’ education and training, tax-dollars into the field, and compensations for educators. In order to make the future changes happen, it is important for leaders to include staffing issues as important topic to consider.

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How to sustain staff with conflict?

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This book is about how to build strong relationships with others by using compassionate communication. The key point is how to talk to others in a clear way tell them what you want, not what you don’t want.

It is a great book about how to understand how others feel, manage anger, use non-violent language etc. For example, learning how not to judge others, such as use of language and skills of observing "feelings and needs" etc. Then think about how to enrich life. This works not only for colleagues, but also works how to communicate with children. Thus, this will be a really great book for EC educators.

Here is some of the techniques that the author talks about.
"Using Positive Action Language" (p. 67)

"People are often confused as to what is actually being requested, and furthermore, negative requests are likely to provoke resistance." (p.67) Here is an example a woman used negative language with frustration. In the end she got what she doesn't want to.

"'I asked him [husband] not to spend too much time at work. Three weeks later, he responded by announcing that he'd signed up for a gold tournament!' She had successfully communicated to him what she did not want - his spending so much time at work - but had failed to request what she did want. " (p. 68)
After reading this book, you will understand how to indicate what your needs are instead of blaming others’ action. For example, you may say to your staff “I wish you didn’t forget to turn the light off when you left the centre last night. It really wastes energy and money.” Rather, you may revise it: “I have a need to be cautious about making this centre energy efficient. I feel edgy about the light turned on all night while no one is inside the centre. Would you be willing to check if all the lights are turned off when you leave?” The purpose is not to blame others; in other word, this person wants to save the energy and cost. That’s the main point; however, sometimes when people are irritated, they tend to attack others unintentionally. That can be a cause of conflict. Mastering with Non-Violent Communication will allow people to gain abilities to talk to others in the way that they would be motivated to help each other, rather than getting annoyed with each other. With the non-violent way, the feeling of compassion will support us to think how other feel and appreciate co-operation.

Local workshop information:

There are a variety of workshops based on Non-Violent Communication. Most of the workshops are held at Langara College through the year. Here is one of the workshops’ information:

Empathy & Compassion
Keys for Sustainable Change
Wednesday, April 4,12:00 – 1:00 pm
Langara College, Room C509
Free no registration required

“In each moment we have a choice, to see the world thought the lens of judgment/blame or through the heart of compassion. The situations we face can be viewed as adversity or opportunity: what are we choosing? In this session we will explore ways to bring about sustainable change in difficult circumstances and remain connected to the human family.”
(Langara: Communities Course Information, 2012, Spring)
Note: This is a free session; however, there are more courses with cost range between $75 and $199. Some of them are on the weekend. The range of total hours of the workshop is between 2.5 hours and 10 hours.

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Here is the video to understand what this book reveals:

Have you ever been in this situation? Without telling others what you really want, everyone becomes confused, which will lead to conflicts in the end. What we do in our daily communication in order to understand each other clearly is to have a straightforward conversation without judging or blaming others. In other words, the way of communicating will help you to create strong relationships within teams. Remember words can be violent, and hurt people's feelings. Communication is one of the most important tools in terms of group harmony.

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How can we retain staff?

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Academic Article

Title: Sustaining the Employment of Early Childhood Teachers in Long Day Care
A case for robust hope, critical imagination and critical action by Jennifer Sumsion

Click here to view the article:

AbstractThis article discusses the sustainability of Early Childhood Educators in Australia and the issues that surround it (low wages, poor working conditions, etc.) Sumsion challenges ECE staff to embody "robust hope", "critical imagination" and "critical action" in their work.

Highlighted Quotes

“Lack of professional recognition reflects but extends beyond enduring perceptions within the community that teaching young children is ‘‘women’s work’’, grounded in supposedly innate caring capacities rather than professional knowledge and expertise” (Sumsion, 2007, pg. 314).

Robust hope is the antithesis of ‘‘collective impotence’’ or the tendency ‘‘to believe… that there is little we can change–singly, severally, or all together–in the way the affairs of the world are running or are being run (Bauman, 1999, pp. 1–2)” (Sumsion, 2007, pg. 319).

In brief, by critical imagination, I mean freeing ourselves from ingrained habits of imagination; envisaging a more just and equitable world; thinking differently as a precursor to acting differently; being willing to conceive of new ways of framing problems; and remaining optimistic about change being possible. Critical imagination can overcome the constraints of traditional interests and perspectives, and generate confidence to join others in challenging existing policy discourses and agendas (Sumsion, 2006)” (Sumsion, 2007, pg. 319).

Engaging in critical action means refusing to accept that the status quo (the steady decline of teacher employment in long day care) is beyond interrogation and eventual transformation (so that long day care becomes a preferred site of employment, and the need for teachers is universally recognised and supported)” (Sumsion, 2007, pg. 319).

“[An Early Childhood Education training] curriculum based on robust hope, critical imagination and critical action could also involve developing strategic and practical skills in challenging, and becoming active players in, the politics of representation around how ECEC teachers are portrayed” (Sumsion, 2007, pg. 323).

Sumsion challenges us as child care professionals not to be complacent with the current standards in our field. Sumsion’s article urges us not to settle for the status-quo and instead become advocates for not only our profession, but for ourselves as professionals. Advocacy in early childhood care and education has been an on-going theme throughout this course. We must have robust hope, think with a critical imagination and engage in critical action. Advocacy,however, can seem very scary to approach. We may find it easier to remain in the comfort, security and familiarity of our early childhood classrooms. But we have a responsibility to our children, our families and ourselves to act and work in an ethical way.

Activism does not imply radicalism, only a firm belief in the value of early childhood development and a commitment to influence children’s lives for the better” (Chandler, 2012, pg. 274).

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How do we "manage" ECE programs with international perspective?

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This e-book discusses the Open Forum at the University of Oulu. It uses real examples to explain three aspects leadership in Early Child Care. The first section, "Introduction to leadership in early childhood education" clarifies the general concepts of leadership in ECE through the Open Forum’s research and examination of issues. The second section entitled, “Comparative perspectives to leadership". It shows different works related to and conceptions of leadership in a variety cultures in different countries. The last section is “Leadership in the national context", and it includes directors' significance, and roles and responsibilities in foreign countries. This e-book will enable educators to understand the concepts of the ECE leadership in depth. Furthermore, it could help ECE leaders to improve programs through interaction not only with staff, but also with parents.

This is a good e-book as it helps ECE directors to analyze, to understand and to master different aspects of ECE management skills. The second section, “Comparative perspectives to leadership, is particularly useful. Through a comparison of various ECE staff management techniques in foreign countries, readers will have more ideas to help them to understand other cultures and management methods, and use these by combining their centres' HR management. By learning about foreign cultures, readers can learn how they could apply such methods to their own staff management. In my opinion, this e-book could assist directors to manage multi-cultural staff and ECE centres.
Furthermore, through a discussion of the management techniques in different countries, the e-book analyzes management issues in both the micro and macro systems. Readers can think about why and how to manage their ECE staff and centres in terms of both minute details and the big picture, in order to find proper or more effective ways to improve their management’s skills.
Moreover, the e-book has many outstanding ideas that extend to build partnerships with families in order to enrich an ECE centre’s management system.

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International perspective II - A success story in Finland

How are leaderships and its system different oversea?

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School leadership for systemic improvement in Finland
A case study report for the OECD activity Improving school leadership

(by Criminalatt, 2012)
Andrew Hargreaves, Rapporteur Gábor Halász Beatriz Pont
December, 2007
Click here to view the article: Case Study

The purpose of this study:
The purpose of this report is …management and leadership approaches that are aiming for systemic improvement. It aims to describe the way Finland has adopted innovative and successful initiatives and practices in order to distribute leadership in innovative ways. (p. 5)

Common understanding of Leadership by Rapporteur, A,H., Halász, G., & Pont, B. (2007)“Leadership has been found to have a modest though significant effect on school achievement (Mortimore et al., 1988; Silins and Mulford, 2002, cited in Rapporteur, A,H., Halász,G., & Pont, B., 2007, p.6) though it is still the second most influential variable affecting achievement after teaching (Leithwood et al., 2006, cited in Rapporteur, A,H., Halász,G., & Pont, B., 2007, p.6). Leadership effects are largely exerted within the school and mainly indirectly through influencing the adults who affect the children (Leithwood et al., 1999, cited in Rapporteur, A,H., Halász,G., & Pont, B., 2007, p.6). Providing intellectual stimulation, supplying professional development and other support, developing a vision of and focus on learning with others, creating a strong professional learning community through team commitment to learning and achievement" (p.6).

Who is a leader in Finland?
A member of the national Principal’s Council: “Working in schools is easy because we don’t have principals acting like a big manager. It’s more like a society of experts. We really share things because principals also have pedagogical understanding and that’s important. They have to know how to do the job and they still teach during the week. You really know how the work is. You are not just sitting higher and acting like a big manager" (p.21).
Why is Finland’s education succussful?
"Finnish teachers are drawn to the profession because of the regard in which it is held in relation to helping bolster and build a wider social mission of economic prosperity, cultural creativity and social justice that is central to the Finnish identity" (p.11).
"Finland has defined and defended a particular value system that connects contemporary innovation and traditional creativity within a strong welfare state that structurally and culturally supports high economic competitiveness" (p.14).
What have we learned from this case study?
What Finland education system doesThe Finns have managed:
  • to marry past and future
  • to adapt to change while maintaining traditions
  • to care for equity while ensuring quality of education outcomes
In Finland, “leadership is shared across the board to ensure that goals and objectives are common across the country" (p.32).
A success in leadership is a success for the schools. In other word, based on how well the program is designed and maintained by leaders, the learning that children will experience will vary - the leaders and staff matter. The reason why Finland was selected by OECD is because of “the particular Finnish approach to school leadership for systemic improvement that contributes to their educational success" (Rapporteur, A,H., Halász,G., & Pont, B., 2007, p. 3). The key in Finland educational success is that all the stakeholders have common understanding within the nation wide system - education being universal. This is the key point that we need to focus. Not having universal childcare in Canada can be a cause of educational crisis - lack of formal education. Education is for children and children are for the future of the country.

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International perspective III - How do we find the information for our improvement?

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The International Center for Leadership in Education:
The International Center for Leadership in Education was established at 21 years ago (1991). It supports a great quantity and high quality resources at the areas of current advances curriculum, instruction and assessment systems. Those resource and information could help child care centres improving programs. The center pays a high value attention to change education system quickly, in order to support students approach world changing requirements in their lives and works.

What kind of resources, information staff/leaders could use for improving the programs:
For example:
l Rigor/Relevance Framework: “is used in schools across the country and around the world to make instruction and assessment more rigorous and more relevant for all students”.
l keynote speakers, consultants and trainers: “share their expertise in the management of change, achieving high standards, curriculum development and customized solutions for our clients”.
l Learning Criteria to Support 21st Century Learners: “can help a school better define how well it is meeting the needs of all learners by looking at the whole school and the whole student”.
l Publications: “enable districts and schools to identify specific learning goals and focus on priority standards”.

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Focus on 'leadership' in education

Where do we start?

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Educational Leadership
Educational Leadership website is a place that gathers plenty of online resource. In here, educators can find different information to start accumulating or improve educational management skills. The website categorizes resources into:

This is a very useful website for people who are in all different stages of leadership in educational areas. This website is clear and simple for people to find information which they want. It not only has information that supports educators to improve and extend management skills, but also supports a place that educators can share opions with others.



Ash, M. (1984). Mary Kay on People Management. New York, N.Y. : A Warner Communications Company.
Blessing White. (2012). The 'X' model of engagement [video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/gZ3wxgog4nc
Child Care Human Resources Sector Council. (2008). Supporting employers in Canada’s ECEC sector. Ontario.Retrieved from http://www.ccsc-cssge.ca/uploads/SE%20LIT%20REVIEW%20ENGLISH%20FINAL.pdf
Criminalartt. (2012). Finland flag painted on the wall. Retrieved from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?phid=64083&photogname=criminalatt&photogid=2512&refurl=http:www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Nations_g175-Finland_Flag_Painted_On_Wall_p64312.html
EcceHomoZen.(Apr, 2010).The Basics for Non Violent Communication 2.3:[video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWe71d-cjLY

Educational leadership.(2012). Educationa leadership resources. Retrieved from http://www.educationalleadership.com/

International Center for Leadership in Education, Inc..(2012).International leadership for education. Retrieved from

First Call BC. (2008). Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition. Retrieved from http://www.firstcallbc.org/

First Call BC.(2007). Results of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Staffing Survey.Retrieved from

Isadore Sharp “Leaders in Luxury" Series. Retrieved from http://www.elitetraveler.com/leaders_detail.html?lid=86

Dominici, D.C. (2012). Portrait professional. Retrieved from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?phid=65759&photogname=David%20Castillo%20Dominici&photogid=3062&refurl=http: www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Teamwork_g404-Leadership_Concept_p65989.html
Kinvex, P., C.,Kinverx, C., & O'connell, S.M. (1999). Hiring great people. USA: The McGraw Hill Companies, inc
Lambert, L., Walker, D., Zimmerman,D.P., Cooper, J.E., Lambert, M.D.,Gardner, M.E., & Szabo, M. (2002). The constructivism leader. 2nd ed. N.Y: Teachers College Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.ca/books?id=s_a9kAo_o0MC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Marotz, Lynn R. & Lawson, Amy (2007). Motivational Leadership in Early Childhood Education. Clifton Park: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Miles, S. (2012). Download Threats Or Opportunities Directions by Stuart Miles. Retrieved from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php
Motive eight. (2011). Leading effective teams. Retrieved from http://www.motiv8development.co.uk/courses/first-line-managers/leading-effective-teams
Nivala, V., & Hujala, E. (2002). Leadership in early childhood education. Retrieved from http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514268539/isbn9514268539.pdf

Rosenberg, M.B.(2003).Nonviolent communication. A language of life. 2nd ed. CA. PuddleDancer Press Book.
SFU Childcare Socirty (2012). SFU Childcare society - Skyfire Early Childhood Permanent Part time Educator. Retrieved from http://www.sfuchildcare.ca/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/jobssky20120229delymar6.pdf
Rapporteur, A,H., Halász,G., & Pont, B.,(2007). School leadership for systemic improvement in Finland: A case study report for the OECD activity Improving school leadership. 1-44. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/17/39928629.pdf

Sharp, I. (2010). Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (2009)

Sinek, S. (2009). How great leaders inspire action.[video File].Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4

Sumsion, J. (2007). Sustaining the Employment of Early Childhood Teachers in Long Day Care:
A case for robust hope, critical imagination and critical action, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 35(3), 311-327.

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