Early childhood leadership policy in Australia – the rhetoric and the reality

Researchers led by ILSTE’s Professor Joce Nuttall have exposed the policy and practice demands being made on educational leaders in Australia’s early childhood education centres.

The team from Australia, England, and Norway used techniques of rhetorical analysis to show early childhood education leadership is not for the faint-hearted. Australian governments invest approximately $10 billion annually in early childhood education provision. Leadership of curriculum and pedagogy is recognised as a critical component of quality provision, but most leadership research in early childhood education to date has only examined leadership from a management perspective. In a current ARC Discovery Project, Nuttall and her team are generating a new theory of ‘learning-rich’ leadership focusing instead on quality improvement in Australia’s early childhood sector. The project commenced with two papers in Journal of Education Policy critiquing early childhood leadership policy in Australia and England. Learn more about England’s early childhood workforce reforms and their analysis of Australian policy.

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