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

March 18, 2022
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Entrepreneurial Leadership Training Catalyzes Change Initiatives in Early Ed Programs

In “Preparing early educators as frontline leaders and change agents with a leadership development initiative,” UMass Boston researchers show 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. These findings suggest that relational-entrepreneurial leadership training has the potential to tap into early educators’ proprietary knowledge about caring for and educating very young children that are not known to those outside the field. Consequently, findings from this study are deeply 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.

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January 15, 2020
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Positive Relationships Key to Early Educator Success in Earning Bachelor’s Degree

In “The Role of Relationships: An Exploratory Study of Early Childhood Educators Earning a Bachelor’s Degree,” Professor Anne Douglass shows how positive relationships with university faculty, staff, peers, and workplace colleagues and supervisors can support educators as they work toward earning their bachelor’s degree. This qualitative study examined the higher education experiences of 18 early educators enrolled in a public urban university early childhood teacher education program. It included in-depth interviews with 11 of these educators’ workplace supervisors. The results highlight the potential importance of the relational contexts in which educators pursue their degrees and make improvements in their teaching practices. Continue Reading →
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May 2, 2019
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Mobilizing Leadership with the Breakthrough Series Collaborative

In her 2017 book, Leading for Change in Early Care and Education: Cultivating Leadership From Within (Teachers College Press), Professor Anne Douglass offers a framework for leadership in early care and education that is inclusive, collaborative, and purpose-driven and that defines a leader as someone who can influence and inspire change from within the field. In Chapter Seven, Douglass examines the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) model for organizational change. BSCs have supported quality improvement in the health, child trauma, and child welfare fields, but have not yet been widely tested in ECE. In describing the results of an 18-month pilot program of the model in ECE settings, she shows how it offers a concrete strategy for facilitating individual and organizational change within ECE by mobilizing leadership from all levels. Continue Reading →
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April 18, 2019
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Pathways to Leadership for Early Educators

In “Redefining Leadership: Lessons from an Early Education Leadership Development Initiative,” published in the Early Childhood Education Journal, Professor Anne Douglass shows that a leadership development program can change the mindset of experienced early educators so they see themselves as innovators and influencers. This first-of-its-kind study followed 43 early educators as they went through a relational and entrepreneurial leadership development program. The results demonstrate that these educators, who had an average of 18 years’ experience in early childhood education (ECE) but who did not self-identify as leaders, subsequently took on leadership roles within the field, bringing new ideas and innovation to their practice. Continue Reading →
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