Early Ed Leadership & Innovation

We train frontline early educators and child care business owners in entrepreneurial leadership, and research ways to support them at scale

February 25, 2022

New Study Finds That Early Educators Trained in Leading for Change Develop Entrepreneurial Mindset and Lead for Change in the Workplace

A study published in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy found that early educators who participated in a relational-entrepreneurial leadership development program were likely to lead for change in curriculum improvement, family engagement, and relationship building after completing their training. It is one of the first empirical studies to examine whether relational-entrepreneurial leadership development training increases early educators’ capacity to lead for change and it contributes new knowledge to the emerging literature on early educator leadership development. Findings from the study, which was designed and authored by researchers at the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at UMass Boston, are relevant to current debate among early educators, parents, and policymakers about how to make affordable, high quality early care and education accessible to all families. Continue Reading →

February 18, 2022

Media: Want better child care? Invest in entrepreneurial training for child care workers

In an oped for The Conversation, Professor Anne Douglass writes about the impact of entrepreneurial leadership training on the childcare and early education workforce: When directors and administrators of early learning centers are trained in entrepreneurial leadership, innovation becomes a bigger part of what they do. They build relationships that value “curiosity, questions, and reflections about current practices,” according to a 2021 federal report. Staff members contribute ideas to improve teaching practices, enhance program quality, implement strategies for improving workplace culture, promote equity and welcome feedback from parents.

Read the full oped, “Want better child care? Invest in entrepreneurial training for child care workers,” online at The Conversation.

February 16, 2022

Advancing scholarship in early ed leadership: Amanda Wiehe Lopes

Dr. Amanda Lopes

For the Early Ed Leadership Institute’s Amanda Wiehe Lopes, earning a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education and Care capped a personal, educational, and professional journey that began when she was a teenager ignoring advice from the adults in her life to become a teacher. 

“I thought of teachers as people who wore khakis and had a lot of rules,” recalls Wiehe Lopes, who successfully defended her dissertation in July, 2021. “That was my experience growing up and I just didn’t see myself in that role. I hated khakis, I hated rules —and still do.” 

Instead, Wiehe Lopes wanted to be an artist. So she studied drama and performance art and eventually taught theater to mostly pre-school age children at the Seattle Children’s Theatre Drama School. 

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