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Publication Detail
Implications of early years professional development: considerations from children's centre leaders
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Authors:
    Mayer S, Whelan C
  • Date:
  • Name of Conference:
    European Early Childhood Research Association
  • Conference place:
    Birmingham, UK
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Keywords:
    professional development, children‘s centre provision, early year's services, system leadership, systems thinking
This paper considers the perceptions of children centre leaders professionally developing themselves as integrated systems leaders and thinkers having undertaken the National College U.K. Early Years Integrated System Leadership (pilot) programme. The implications of this upon centre practices and provision is discussed. The understanding gained from centre leaders is discussed in relation to understandings of impact of integrated children‘s services upon children and families (CWDC, 2006, DfES, 2007). This discussion draws upon current understanding of integrated systems leadership and integrated practice in children‘s services (Anning, et.al., 2006, DfES, 2006, Innovations, NCSL, Demos, 2007, Warin, 2007) and systems thinking (Fullan, 2004, Senge, 2006). This is an exploratory study, following a phenomenological approach (Schutz, 1967) which aims to understand and provide an account of the perceptions of eight early years children‘s centre of themselves as integrated systems leaders and systems thinkers. Participants‘ and centre‘s rights to anonymity and confidentiality was respected and identities protected (BERA, 2004, BSA, 2002). Integrated systems leadership and systems thinking enabled leaders to make interconnections between socio-cultural values and belief systems within their communities and their centre‘s services. This led to decision-making to address community and family specific issues of urbanisation, ruralisation, family and religion, disability and availability of parents in workforce. The premise that professionally developing children‘s centre leaders into becoming skilled integrated systems leaders and thinkers leads to community and family specific decision making and thereby successful implementation of national policy on children‘s centre provision is discussed.
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