Layen, S (2015) 'Do reflections on personal autobiography as captured in narrated life-stories illuminate leadership development in the field of early childhood?' Professional Development in Education, 41 (2). pp. 273-289. ISSN 1941-5265

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Research demonstrating the importance and impact of the earliest years on longterm outcomes is now well established, and the link between effective leadership and quality provision has been clearly made. However, the nature of the best preparation for such leadership remains contested. The qualitative research reported here is related to the early childhood sector in England and is based on a series of in-depth interviews conducted over a four-month period with three early childhood leaders selected through purposeful sampling. The research study focuses on the key area for exploration – whether reflecting on and analysing autobiographical stories, both personal and linked to leadership experiences, has the potential to support leadership development by increasing self-awareness and self-concept. Links are made between ‘lived experience’ and leadership practice and effectiveness. The study highlights the importance of such reflections and indicates that this approach to leadership development has a positive and constructive impact on the participants’ views of themselves as people and leaders, and as such might be an additional approach to developing new leaders and supporting the continuing development of existing leaders.

Item Type: Article

First published online 12 March 2015.

Keywords: phenomenology; reflections; autobiography; leadership; early years
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 10:30
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2015 10:30
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