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Building the leadership capacity of early childhood directors: An evaluation of a leadership development model


While there is consensus among policymakers and practitioners about the importance of strong leadership in early childhood education, there is scant research on effective models of leadership development for administrators of early childhood programs, particularly those working in the child care sector. This is cause for concern because the majority of center directors assume their leadership positions without prior preservice management training. This study examined the effectiveness of Taking Charge of Change (TCC), a 10-month leadership development program that focuses on the nature of individual, organizational, and systemic change and the program director's role as a change agent. The study looked at two data sets: archived evaluation data from 502 participants across 20 cohorts of Taking Charge of Change and new data from 138 TCC alumni generated from an online survey. The archived information included data from several measures: A Training Needs Assessment Survey (TNAS), the Program Administration Scale (PAS), and the Early Childhood Work Environment Survey (ECWES). The online survey to TCC alumni gathered information about their current job status, career decisions, continuing professional development, commitment to the early childhood profession, and professional achievements. The findings revealed evidence of individual growth and organizational improvement as well as positive program outcomes relating to accreditation status and participation in Illinois' quality rating system. The results of this study underscore the need for systematic, intensive, and relevant training focused on the unique needs of early childhood administrators. (author abstract)

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Reports & Papers
United States
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