Leadership in Early Childhood Education:

Examine the Environments

Breadcrumb trail:

Environments play a significant role in the learning process.

The early childhood experience involves planning for a variety of environments. The physical environment may be the first one that comes to mind. But the social, intellectual, and emotional environments are equally important and critical to children's overall well being. Remember that the environment — in all of its aspects — is our partner in providing high quality early childhood programs.

A teacher observes a child arranging plates.

How does leadership get reflected in an organization's physical and cultural environment? In large part this is expressed through a shared vision and the core values a leader brings to life in everyday practice.

Try This!

Take time to look at expressions of your leadership in your organization's environment.

  • Is what you value evident on the walls, in your communications, and decision making?
  • Draw a sketch, create a display, or presentation slides that shows examples of this.
  • Think of a time when you challenged the status quo by advocating for a change in interpreting the intent of a regulation or standard regarding the physical environment or organizational culture.
  • Use one of the templates to describe an example of advocacy action you took with someone like the fire marshal or licensor, a board of directors, or professional organization.

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

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding of Performance Area 3: Advocacy vision and Advocacy process 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

Read the article "Innovation or Standardization" by Arlae Alston to explore how you can create environments that reflect your values while still meeting standards.