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Cultivating Leadership in Early Care and Education - Reaping the Harvest of a New Approach to Leadership

by Sharon Lynn Kagan and Lynda G. Hallmark
July/August 2001
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/cultivatin/5014007/

If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain.
If you want ten years of prosperity, grow forests.
If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow leaders.
- Chinese Proverb


Poignant, the above quote underscores the importance of growing leaders. Nowhere is this more important than in the area of early childhood education - a growing field that is facing unprecedented challenges. Early childhood educators face the daunting responsibility of tending and safeguarding the most precious commodity of our nation, young children.

The demands facing today's early childhood educators require the cultivation not only of more leaders, but more kinds of leadership. Attending to the leadership demands now confronting our burgeoning field requires three understandings:

n The first is that the traditional notion of corporate leadership does not grow well in our field, and that the emergence of new theories of organizational leadership are creating notions that are more adaptable to early care and education.

n The second is that the varieties of leadership that do take root, while somewhat unique to early care and education and perhaps exotic in comparison to traditional theory, are necessary if the field is to flourish.

n And, third, these varieties of leadership must be cultivated equitably and realistically in ...

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