Leadership in Early Childhood Education:

Turn Questions Into Action

Breadcrumb trail:

Improve your daily practice and enrich your experiences.

Action is the test of what you know and can do. It is where you see the results of reflection and self-assessment. The CompSAT protocol, Keys to Reflection and Inquiry, is designed to help you formulate good questions, pursue inquiry, and take action to improve your daily practice. The results of your actions provide evidence of your professional growth, and hopefully, spur you on to generate more questions and take further action. Action and reflection are essential to the processes of growth and change.

A day care director discussing details with a teacher.
"Many leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that galvanize an organization."

— Peter Senge (Senge, 2006 from The Fifth Discipline)

Once you have your own vision how do you use your leadership role to develop a shared vision that will galvanize your organization? Read  how early childhood director Peter Blair approached this leadership task in "Leading a Program Through Change".

Try This!

Blair's article focuses on leading your program with values and offers these guidelines:

  • Start with an exploration of what you as a staff believe about children and the larger purpose of early education.
  • Create structures for dialogue, encouraging people to argue as well as collaborate.
  • Galvanize passions into a call for action.

Using these three guidelines, begin to sketch out an action plan for yourself.

  • How will you begin to explore values with your staff?

Design a series of staff meeting agendas with a timeline. If you lack experience in this, do some online research or hire a consultant.

  • What shifts can you begin to make in your staffing patterns, schedules, and budget to create on going structures for dialog among staff?

Develop short and long term plans. What could you put in place this month? By the end of the next year? By the end of 5 years?

  • Where is there an agreed up contradiction between what exists and what your staff values?

Use this to galvanize a plan of action with goals, working committees and timelines.

If your work is not in direct service, but a different early childhood organization, adapt the ideas for your setting.

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding by checking out Performance Area 3, Topic: Advocacy vision in the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to page 97.

Can you find other places in this competency area that address these questions?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Extend Your Learning

If you are ready to move into developing a fuller action plan, use the worksheet "Assessing Your Systems, Policies, and Allocation of Resources" to guide your planning.